As I begin to live in this new world it is overwhelming some days just to survive, never mind being able to process life as a responsible adult; which I've dubbed Adulting. I am in awe of the other GBM Widows I have recently met who returned to work a week after their husband's funeral considering I barely got out of bed, never mind left the house for nearly a month. There were days when simply breathing seemed the goal. Thankfully basic financial adulting was covered as I've always used my credit union's bill pay so I didn't have to worry about anything being shut off. But it wasn't the adulting tasks that were weighing on me at first but the things you do without thinking about that were bringing me to tears.
In the first weeks following our loss, the only thing that I could actually be certain to accomplish was taking out the recycling and trash bins. It seems a minor chore considering that taking out the trash is one of the first jobs as parents we are very happy to bestow onto our kids. Yet for me, that became a major accomplishment. The recycling ~ well it absolutely crushed me the first time.
How?? How could empty bottles, cans, and boxes bring me to sobs? Our garage door opener is broken. It was just that simple. The stupid garage door opener is broken so I can't push a button to open the door to drag the recycling bins out. The garage door broke earlier this year and WE were planning on having a new opener installed with our tax refund. So here's how this rabbit hole went:
There never was a tax refund because we never filed taxes. We never filed taxes because Michael forgot to download his W2 at work Michael, couldn't remember the password to access it at home.
The email he used to reset the password was only accessible at work He never returned to work.
He left me. He left me without a W2.
He left me without filing taxes.
He left me without a tax refund. He left me without a garage door opener.
That whole process took less than 5 seconds before I was on the floor sobbing.
You see that's grief in its raw form. It just hits, and usually with little to no warning.
What it really came down to at its core ~ Michael took out the bins. But now, every week, every Tuesday and Wednesday night when I drag those bins out I'll be reminded that he's not here to do that. BUT. But it's in the little things that we can find that I am finding reminders of love. He knew how much I hated dragging the stale beer smelling recycling bins to the curb so he did it and that was love. Grief isn't about being strong nor is it something to get through. Grief is, after all, an extension of love. Right now for me, Grief is holding onto those continually present reminders of love.
I am quite confident that the day is not very far down the road that I'll just drag the bins to the curb and not feel an emotional pull. I also know that for no reason whatsoever one day in the future dragging those bins will trigger a memory and I'll return to the house crying.
Regardless the trash is still picked up on Thursday.