It has been 90 days now since I lost my beloved husband suddenly to a stroke. I shared my unbearable grief at 30 days. The last 60 days have left me with many mixed emotions, highs and lows. We celebrated his life and all though I loved seeing all the family and friends who came from far away to pay respects it was a very sad time realising they were here because he passed away.
I loved going through all the photos with my son and daughters as we selected photos for the slideshow and the display on the table. I was so proud of my other daughter, who is a minister, who preached a message of love and shared her dad’s heart and love for life. Those were happy joyous things.
Then I find myself angry because he left me here and I don’t have him to help make the decisions we always made together. Simple little things that normally wouldn’t have been an issue, such as replacing a vacuum cleaner. Mine recently gave out after 15 years. Yes, it was old, but now all of a sudden what used to be ‘Oh we need a vaccum, go buy it, money not an object’ and my husband would take me out to get one (and the money seemed to just magically appear out of the wallet) has become something more like ‘Do I spend this money or not? Is it in the budget?’ I find myself feeling guilty purchasing things. I wonder what others think. If I make a decision to make change in my home or life, will people think I’m trying to erase him from my life?
The one thing I did purchase was a brand new car. Mine was 20 years old and had 200,000 miles on it (321,869 kilometres). My husband’s carwas only five years old with half the miles mine had. Sadly, my daughter borrowed it and totaled it shortly after he died. How it happened I don’t care, she is alive and I did not have to bury her also. Loving and well-meaning family and friends tried to talk me into a good used one. I took a leap of faith once I got the life insurance money and his retirement money, and moved forward with a decision we made together buying that new car he was planning to get the end of January (but did not because he died January 3).
As the days passed I found I’d become depressed and would zone out once home from work. I could not bring myself to shower as it was too much effort. Sleep became impossible. I now have to have a night light on and noise in the background. My mind raced all night long, wondering how I missed signs or even if there were signs he was about to have a stroke. Should I have insisted he see the doctor more than he did? I finally reached out to my doctor and am now getting help to sleep. I’ve also joined a group for widows.
Major things seem to be there everyday and I’m having to figure out how to deal with those things when they arise. However, it’s the little things that hit me the hardest. Every Monday night I now need to remember to put the garbage out. For 42 years my husband faithfully made sure they were by the curbside for pick-up and every Tuesday evening after he got home he would bring them back to the house. Every time I would go somewhere he would say, “I love you” and “Be careful”, concerned for my safety as well as letting me know he loved me. Now there is no one one to give me those reminders.
Easter is fast approaching and as tradition I will be buying my usual bag or two of jelly beans. I love the orange ones the best. I love all the colours, but I don’t like the black jelly beans. He never ate any of the jelly beans until I had eaten all but the black ones. He always ate the black ones for me… Who will eat them for me now?
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