It has been almost six months since Jim has slept in our bed. Six months of having the bed all to myself. I still sleep on my side of the bed. I still stop myself from stretching across that invisible line that all couples have. One night I had some laundry to put away and instead of completing the task, I pushed the clothes onto his side. I was tired and it was late and I left it there. When I crawled under the sheets, I could feel the weight of the garments on the covers and it was comforting. I realized how much I missed his presence in our bed. Just his warmth and his aura. The varied extra items stayed on his side of our bed for the past few months. Only recently have I put them away. Begrudgingly. We had company coming and I felt I needed to. Which is huge. Huge. Huge. Huge.
I have been, how should I put it, really slacking in the home cleaning department. I have written about it numerous times and I think I can see a slight glimmer of change. Maybe. We will see how the house looks next week.
There are many places I miss him in my life, but most of all I think I miss our conversations. I don’t have him or his equivalent to go over the day, discuss world events, figure out our next step as parents, and of course, listen to me lament about something someone has done or said that I need to get a different perspective on. I recently heard a story on the radio about how we each have different personalities and one of them is a “talker”. That’s me. I am a talker. The article went on to discuss how some people can remain silent, content with their own thoughts, but the talkers need to work through their thoughts and feelings. They need to verbalize their day and ponder out loud their hopes and dreams. I lost my audience but I still need to be verbal. There is a void left by Jim’s absence that grows larger each day.
During Halloween, there were a few instances that I could have really used Jim’s guidance. He was always the calm one. Brad has a friend who has been trick or treating with him for a few years. A couple of weeks before the 31st, the Mom, who is a friend of mine, texted me with a picture of them in costume the year before and asked if they would be doing so again this year. I responded “yes” and thought to myself how nice to have one less thing to worry about. Then, the day before they are to head out to beg for candy, she texts me to let me know her son just wants to stay home. He won’t be heading out. No problem. I tell her it’s ok. Then, I see a photo of him on social media with two other boys, in costume, enjoying the night. I was not a happy camper. I was already annoyed she had waited so late to cancel. How was he supposed to make plans less than 24 hours before? Everyone else had arranged their evening. This had left him high and dry. Fortunately, Brad just wanted to stay home, handing out candy to the 400+ trick or treaters we had. So it worked out. But, still, the photo, the betrayal, the lie, the letdown…hurt. And I just wanted to sit after all was said and done and talk about it to my confidant. But, I couldn’t. So, I tried to internalize my thoughts and it just doesn’t go as well without his perspective and lightheartedness.
Frances had something very similar happen. Letdown, hurt, last minute cancelation, lies, etc. It is part of life. Whether you have a family member sick or not, this happens. We are not exclusive with being snubbed, but, I have to process, react, respond, ignore and digest all of these things solo. I am sure my parents and my closest friends are a bit ragged from listening to me, but they are all I have. It is my personality trait that forces me to need to discuss whatever is happening. I want to be alone and be happy but so far this has eluded me. I am happiest when I am with trusted friends and Jim. I want to find I can isolate myself and not feel loss. But I can’t. It isn’t in me. I don’t do well alone. I don’t do well without conversation and connection. I have had to whittle down my close friends because of my needs. It has been hard. And it makes this journey an even lonelier one. It is better to be surrounded by people who really understand and get me than to have superficial relationships that will collapse at any time. Who needs that? I certainly don’t. Thanks to Jim’s demise, I am forced to become selective. I am just not sure where this will leave me in the end. I am sure I will be stronger with very strong relationships, but isn’t it part of life to have those friends who come and go with the tides of life and who we just accept as frivolous dialog for the ride? Don’t they add something to the mix? Is this an issue because I am now single or is it a maturity process? Would I be fine with snubs and hurtful comments and judgments if I had Jim’s perspective to keep me balanced?
I don’t think these things happened because of Jim. I just miss him being part of our family. Part of the discussion, the voice of reason and calm. The person I could snuggle with at the end of a long day and whisper in my ear it didn’t matter because we still have each other. Because now we don’t.