Sometimes I feel like this blog should be called “Becoming a bitch: Life in the aftermath of suicide”. Or perhaps that term offends people, so I will change it to ‘Becoming an asshole after your husband kills himself”. This way people might know that becoming a widow isn’t just learning to fold this new title into your life, it’s about the transformation that happens when life reveals its brutal disregard for normalcy or feelings. Now my mind wanders into the realm of “who will this offend” and as I stand in the doorway of “remember, you don’t give a fuck what people think”, I see that place where I lived for 90 days after he died. The place where everybody is just who they are without pretense. And this thought brings the first smile to my face for the day.
I see the other version of myself leaning against the doorway of a well-lit but not too-bright room. Mostly it’s the bands of multi-toned yellow sunlight that come in at an angle and land with certainty on the patrons that mingle in that room, caressing the countertops and dust-covered ledges that hold the secrets of this room. This imaginary self isn’t slouched. She stands tall, yet leans against the wooden frame, keeping watch on the passersby who are just different versions of herself. She is watching for that one who walks around worried about what other people might think, caught up in making sure she does all the right things so the world will consider her worthy. Fuck that.
Doorway girl doesn’t carry that weight so there is a lightness to her brutal honesty and dedication to being exactly who she is. She stands watch so when that other girl walks by weighed down with all the things life tosses in your path to distract you from the business of living, she can catch her attention and, with a glance, invite her into the room of “fuck what they think”.
Wednesday I had a routine check up with my neurologist.
“How are you doing. Any new or worsening MS symptoms”, she asked. I was prepared for the question. As I proudly told her how everything is stable and I have no worsening symptoms and I think everything is good, I mentioned an annoying little something I’ve been ignoring for a few weeks. The look on her face let me know this thing I was describing in passing was more than an annoyance.
Thursday I went to the infusion center where they placed a peripheral IV line then taught me how to infuse the drug myself at home for the next three days. This pandemic has left us with a shortage of nurses. These infusions would normally be administered by a nurse in my home, I am told. Now I have an IV in my arm, and bags of medication in my fridge, and hours to make up at work. My fingers don’t want to type. They are clumsy and hit the wrong keys. I have ignored this for weeks. I am overwhelmed. There is a house to take care of. Blown electrical circuits to fix or find someone else to fix. Work to work. Feelings to feel. Tragedy to process. The universe says she doesn’t have time for that shit. Just keep going. Pick up the problems as they are dropped in front of me, deal with the them, then put them neatly in a closet somewhere. I think I will go find the doorway to that room where the sunlight always falls in through the windows in multi-toned yellows, warming the air and revealing the microscopic particles that linger unnoticed when hidden from the sun. I will find a comfy chair, have a comfy seat, and enjoy the peacefulness of just being. Until, that is, I have to take me leave to do some work.