People want me to talk about my dead husband and it’s really hard. I have so much going on inside that I’m still amazed I was able to write something at the four month mark. At 10 months, I’m even more confused and jumbled, so I don’t even bother attempting. Sometimes I get a sentence, a phrase, a word that I think I should jot down but depression makes me lazy and zombielike so I try my best to file that stuff mentally. I’m sure some background is needed, so here goes: my husband was killed by a suicide bomber last May in Afghanistan. He was 28 and all I knew for a decade. He saved my life and was the best in each and every way, and I’m not just saying that because he was my husband; ’tis the truth.
I am a fearful person and losing him turned everything on its head. Ever since I’ve been an emotional wreck. Though when the feeling of numbness shows up, I welcome it. I never had to date (he and I were attached at the hip since our first date at the prom), and now at 27, I’m like, “Really [insert deity of your choice]?” It’s bad enough to lose your heart but then to have to face the big, bad world of dating? I don’t even know how to approach dating and it frightens me; I run away when things get scary. I’m sure my husband would want me to move on, he said as much before he died, but ugh, how do I even do it? I’ve read the horror stories of other widows who signed up for online dating and got disastrous results. Of course, I know that shit takes time and you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince but I wanna skip ahead to the part where I find my Charming. Or maybe I’m not supposed to find him, maybe I should find myself. I like to say that my husband did the thinking so I didn’t have to so maybe now’s the time for me. As lonely as widowhood is, it’s also a time to figure out who you are, what you like/don’t like, etc. In a way, this could be good for me. I never had to be independent.
Maybe this girl needs to be her own Prince Charming. It’s a nice thought, won’t be easy, I’m sure, but I guess I can warm up to the idea. Learn to love me, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. And also love. It’s such a foreign concept to me now, when I think about love, I see it as these imposing four letters hovering over my head that I’m always looking at curiously. I don’t know what that is anymore but I like to remind myself:
- wrapping my feet with bandages because I foolishly wore flats to walk the las vegas strip
- helping me to remove my weave
- oiling my scalp
- encouraging me when I had no fight left
- putting dry shampoo on the parts of my scalp I couldn’t see
- letting me cry on his shoulder
- holding my hand really tight during my first tattoo so I could focus on that instead of the pain
- showing me how to use the riding mower so I wouldn’t be distracted by depression
- coming home early from work when I had mind numbing cramps
- putting doggy pads on the bed and telling me I don’t have to get up to pee (and that he’d clean it when he got home) when I had bladder issues
- coming to my gynecologist’s appointments so I wouldn’t freak out
- climbing on top of a Walmart shelf to get me a Care Bear
- proposing to me twice
- rubbing my back and playing in my hair every time I asked
- doing everything in his power to make me feel better
- saving me from myself
- still providing for me even after death
Thanks, US Army, for the photo.
Danielle is in her late 20s and is currently searching for her purpose in life. In the meantime, she likes watching TV (preferably Golden Girls, RuPaul's Drag Race and ratchet VH1 reality shows), sleeping and losing herself in celeb pop culture. You can read her defunct blog here.
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