TeamworkPosted: July 15, 2008
Sunday morning I turned to the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I thought I would never attempt one again. That was something we did together. He was the one who could sit down and fill out the whole thing in a few moments. I can sit down and fill in eight or ten words. We kept about five puzzles going, leaving them in strategic places around the house. “I corrected all your mistakes,” he’d tell me. A few times I got to correct his, and those were gold medal moments.
So Sunday morning, I started filling in answers. I kept going — somehow — and in half an hour I filled in the whole thing. Then I tossed my pencil across the newsprint, said humph, and chuckled. His presence. He was working it for me, putting the answers in my mind.
The shock started wearing off last Friday, and by the weekend full reality set in — crippling grief, anger, and guilt, along with devastating loneliness. I didn’t think Saturday would ever end, and then I knew Sunday would come.
My heart pounds in my chest and throat. I cannot swallow air, I cannot breathe. At times my legs are too heavy and I cannot lift one foot to put it in front of the other to walk across the room. I am numb all over. The dog keeps watching the back door, still expecting him, wondering why he doesn’t come. It breaks my spirit to tell her that Daddy is gone and he will never walk in that door.
People have been wonderful, but I feel as though I am a reminder of pain, of what horrific, catastrophic things can and do happen in life, and I feel as though I should be shunned so people don’t have to think about it and deal with what if it happens to them.
So I walk the dog and keep my back curled, my shoulders caved, my face down as close to the concrete as I can get it, because that is all I can do now. And I try to get used to being alone. Because that’s all there is.
And then he comes and it eases for a while and I think maybe we can get through this together.