Do you ever get the feeling you’re living someone else’s life? I’ve been having these kind of out-of-body moments when I look around my small world and just for a flash, don’t recognize anything. It’s not any kind of serious psychological break, don’t worry – it’s just that moment when I think…how on earth did I get here??
I think it’s a combination of being widowed, and being smack dab in middle life. Both things suck, and doing them together sucks even more.
I still feel like I did when I was 21. And 35 and 16 or any age…I’m still the same person in here…but when I look at myself in the mirror, or look around my immediate life and surroundings, it is so ever far away from where I was at 21. I sometimes stop for that moment and think about some of the various decisions and life changes that have brought me to this point and just…ponder it all. More than half my life is now in the past, most likely, and I can’t do anything to change what has gone on before. I made choices, I followed a path before me, and here I am.
I’m not talking about personal regrets…not all all. But my life just feels very strange sometimes indeed. I am surprised every morning to open my eyes and remember I am a widow, and I am 48 years old. Both those things are a little shocking and maybe always will be.
I reach for something familiar in those moments, something mundane, something comfortable…I pick up the phone and call a friend or family member, make plans to go out of the house on errands or meet a friend, clean something, cook something, check out a friend on Facebook…sitting at my desk writing these posts has also now become something familiar, so I reach for that too…the musician is becoming more and more familiar as well, and his presence is comforting, though he has his own independent schedule too, which is as it should be.
Somehow, Mike made my life feel…”normal”. I say that in quotes because nothing was ever normal with Mike, he was such an unusual person…and yet, life with him had become familiar. The decisions I made that led me to meeting him, and the decisions we made together as a couple…the way we were with each other…life seemed open-ended and safe with him. But his death has caused me to realize the impermanence of it all so deeply…now I have to look back at my life with him…the days we had together were numbered, though I didn’t ever think that way when he was alive.
So his death, and the process of dealing with the grief, which includes the daunting task of rebuilding my own existence without him at the age I find myself, has made me view things through a completely different lens. And some days, it’s all just totally unrecognizable.