As the days, weeks, now months have slowly passed since my wife died, I had things I had to do. Busy work yes, but it wasn't something I had ever done before. These required changes to my day. Getting up early, contacting random companies and people, going out of my way. It was torture but it kept things moving in a direction. I now wish there was more I had to do that was required just to keep me busy.
Unfortunately, just the other day I woke up, got myself ready in the morning like 'normal'. I had that moment in the bathroom where I went to get something ready for my wife out of 'habit'. I stopped, moved on to the rest of my morning. I got myself dressed, had breakfast and made my lunch. I then had to look at her lunch bag sitting there waiting to be filled as well and again had to stop myself for a minute. I left to go to work and decided I should drive to the cheap parking and take the bus like 'we' had done for the last couple years. I hadn't done this but twice since losing my wife, and now I know a reason why I probably shouldn't have done it yet. I got to the bus and lucky for me I had just missed the previous bus because my eyes started to water. I had turned to look to my side to say something about just missing the bus and it again dawned on me that I was there alone. By the time the next bus arrived I had gotten passed that a bit, but I don't remember the ride at all anymore. The old routine is just so wrong. She isn't there. I have tried to cover up a bit. I watch TV shows we always did, but I keep crap piled all over her side of the couch so it isn't empty. I drive to different grocery stores than we typically shopped which takes a little more time but allows me to avoid walking through the same old aisles waiting for her. I have put a box of tissue and a couple coupon magazines from BJs on the passenger seat of the car to avoid it being empty. I have found that as things have slowly started to settle, my routines are becoming increasingly painful. I know some people have said that 6 months is worst than the beginning in some ways, I can see how that could be. The numb, auto-pilot mode that I was in for the first 2 months is gone, the 'must' be done things are gone, the constant checking and asking from friends and family have slowed to a trickle, now I am just going about doing the things I have to do like it is all 'normal', routine...
Routine is painful, but it isn't like I can continue to pay the high price of parking to avoid using the cheaper way of getting to work, it isn't like I can continue to drive 30 to 40 minutes out of my way to do groceries rather than going 5 minutes from my house. And I can't leave my living room a mess if I want guests. I am going to have to slowly become comfortable being in places that we used to frequent alone. Man I miss the old couples routines, the things we did together, the stuff that we were able to banter about to make them go faster. Doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms or the kitchen, working on the lawn. All these seemingly basic tasks have become painful reminders of my loneliness. How do people get passed this? Seeing the ghost of your person out of the corner of your eye because you expect them to be there?
I feel this will just be another of the many things I will have to become used to regardless of the pain. Boy do I miss my old normal.