Today marks three years since Elaine left this world. At one year, the world was upside down. At two years, I was learning to live in an upside down world. At three years, now upside down is feeling normal to me.
Sometimes it seems as though the life Elaine and I shared was a dream, just a distant memory. Then there are other times that it all comes crashing down on me, it is all too real. I'll be near a woman wearing the perfume she used to wear. I'll see a light blue Hyundai, which is the same shade of blue as her casket. Or maybe nothing at all, it just happens.
I often use the phrase "After Elaine died. . ." It truly was a turning point, a time in my life when everything changed. Nothing is the same, I live in a different place, both literally and figuratively. I still have the same job as before, I think everything else in my life is different. Change can be good, but not when it is thrust on you without any warning.
I am remarried now, which comes with its own challenges. When she is late coming home from work, my stomach goes in knots. I know that it is my own unreasonable fear, but it's a real fear to me, and I have to not say anything about it. She's a nurse, and I know things happen in a hospital, and they always seem to happen right at the change of shift. But I still can't get past the fear that something happened to her. I also know that it's hard for her, she is married to a man that is in love with two women. We make it work, but we all know those that have never been widowed can't know what it's like.
Overall, though, life is good. I still carry a pain in my heart. The physical pain that feels like literal heartbreak is gone. I know that I was in terrible, horrifying pain, but the mind has a way of blotting out the worst pains, so I don't really remember what it feels like. The emotional pain is still there, and I'm sure it will be for life. That is the price I paid for the wonderful time I spent married to Elaine. I cannot lose that.