Just as he left it......

Many things in our house are just as Gregory left them.

His boat shoes still sit outside on our deck after he took them out of the washer to dry in the sun. His razor, his toothbrush, and medicines still sit on his side of the bathroom next to his sink. His robe still hangs next to mine. The last batch of dry cleaning that he picked up still hangs in our closet, still in it's plastic. His clothes are in their places, his hats here and there. His keys, wallet, phone, chapstick and other assorted things he always had in his pocket are still in the basket in the kitchen where he always put them.

He's the only thing missing. I guess technically he's here. At least that's what you could say considering his ashes are front and center on my bureau.

In the process of being pulled into this thing called "widowhood" kicking and screaming, I have read a lot of other blogs by men and women in the same crappy club. I have gotten to know many of them. I have also read message board posts and "grief share" e-mails of others. And everyone handles it differently.

One woman started cleaning out and giving her husbands clothes away two weeks after he died. I cannot fathom that. But if it worked for her, that's what she needed to do. I still go in and smell his clothes. Of course, they don't smell like anything but Gain and dryer sheets and cedar from the closet now, but sometimes, if I'm reaaaalllly lucky, I get just a little whiff of him. I remember once I was shopping with my friend Shawn and we were smelling men's cologne and she asked me what my favorite was on him. I told her I didn't have one because he didn't wear it. She asked me what he smelled like. I said he smelled like Gregory. Because he did. I used to lay my head down on his chest or in his hair and just smell him, and he would laugh and call me sniffles.

I miss his scent. I sleep in his t-shirts. I wear his hats while I'm out putzing around. I even wear his socks sometimes. I finally washed his dirty clothes when it looked like they were going to sprout legs and start walking around the house. I used to hate the high ball glasses that were his favorite. Now I drink out of them. I use his toothbrush. I used the last of his Irish Spring body wash but kept the bottle in the shower, because it had been his.

And I know none of this will change anything. He's still dead, and I'm still mad as hell about the whole thing. I guess some would say I'm still in the "denial" phase. No, that phase pretty much went out the window when I walked with his body to the doors of the crematorium and watched them take him inside - after I put our picture in his pocket along with my St Christopher, gave him his last ever kiss on his lips and told him how much I loved him and that I was missing him so. That phase was over when the funeral dude had to ask me to let him go so they could "take care of him." See, no one knows I went up there that morning. Everyone thought I said my last goodbye the day before. But in Alabama, you have to wait 24 hours after the papers are signed at the funeral home before you cremate someone, in case plans change. I knew that. So, on Sunday morning, March 22nd, I got up early and drove to the funeral home to be with my husband for a last little while and walk with his earthly body to the place where I really told him goodbye.

Anyone who's still in denial after that needs a straight jacket and a one way ticket to cuckoo land.

I think I'm in the stunned phase. The "how in the hell is this really happening yet I'm still getting up each day and breathing" phase. The "how I am sitting here having drinks with my friends when my husband's dead?" phase. The phase where you hear "Oh, I see you're still wearing your rings" from someone.

Yes, I'm still wearing my rings. And I will continue to for as long as I damn well please. In my mind, I'm still married. He is still and will always be my husband and I will always be his wife. I'm sure one day I will take my rings and his off and wear them on a chain for awhile, then eventually they'll probably make their home in my armoire. But for now, yes, I'm still wearing my rings, thank you very much.

There will come a day when I will have to go through his clothes and decide what to do with them. Today is not that day. I don't know when that day will be, but when it does, I think I'll just know.
Some things I will never give up.....

The shirt he wore when we ran off and got married?? Never.

The shirt he wore when we got "married again" in New Orleans?? Never ever.

The blue Salty Dog t-shirt he wore to many a fun time we had (including the tattoo fiasco?) and proclaimed his favorite?? Never ever ever.

His favorite Eagles sweatshirt? OMDB.

His favorite overalls and Auburn hat that he called his "project uniform"? Nope.

His Yankees hats and shirts ? No, I wear them now.

Along with several other shirts and jackets and hats and doo-dahs that I will keep forever. The Irish lady shirt we shared especially.....

There are many things of his that will eventually find a new home, but not just yet. I'm just not ready. And that's just fine with me.


DutchBitch said...

Hey Kim,
What a beautiful post and I can't imagine that if it would ever happen to me, I would feel any different.

DutchBitch said...

Hey Kim,
What a beautiful post and I can't imagine that if it would ever happen to me, I would feel any different.

metalmom said...

Kim, This was beautiful. I can't even imagine what it is like for you. When someone dies suddenly, I don't consider it "passing away". That just seems so slow...more like wasting. But he was 'yanked' from you and that must be ever so much harder because there was no preparation. Your grief is yours alone and if you take baby steps with your widowhood, then so be it. Take whatever time you need. No one can tell you when it is over.

Angi said...

Thinking of you. Wishing you peace, eventually. With the love of your life taken from you, no one should expect you to be comfortable or ok with it. Keep letting it out. <<hugs>>

TexasRaceLady said...

Kim, take your time. There's no hurry to "clean out". When the time comes, you'll know --- and then you'll do it.

And by all means keep the special shirts. Wear them happily, and know that Greg is close to you.

For a little perspective --- Queen Victoria kept everything of Albert's just as it was from 1861 to her death in 1903. But, that's a little extreme. LOL

LOVIN7 said...


Lynda said...

I had a former boss who lost her fiance to a motorcycle accident. People were telling her a month later that she should take off her engagement ring. That made me so angry.

When my sister died, we didn't give up a lot of things right away. But there are some things, like you, that I will never give up. Heck, I was cleaning out clothes the other day, and wasn't ready to get rid of them yet, so I didn't.

You'll know when you are ready.

coloradolady said...

Kim, loved all the pics. I sent you an email, let me know if you get it.

sybil law said...

I'm just fine with it, too.
He looks like such a great guy - you can just tell from the pics. Thanks for sharing them!

Sodapop said...

What a wonderful post, Kim. Thank you so much for sharing your life.

ashley said...

Hi Kim. I found my way over here during the BHAH09 chat sessions. I'm very sorry for all of this and although I am sure you have heard that a thousand times more than you care to from complete strangers I still felt the urge to tell you. I can't even imagine and this post makes me hurt inside, but nowhere near what you feel everyday I am sure.

I hope you keep sharing and writing. Gregory looks like he was quite a character and you are a lucky lucky lady to have shared his life with him.


Wendy said...

I'm sitting here, crying my eyes out for you. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. But of the few things I already know about you, I know you're strong and I know you'll make it through this. Babes, you hold on as long as you want. This is your home, your love, and don't let anyone try to convince you what's right for you. If it comforts you to have his things, have them.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. I hope it helps you to write it out. I'll always be here if you need me.

Athomia said...

He will always be with you, no matter what you have. So do what you need to do to make yourself as comfortable as possible. This is your journey. Do it your way because no one else can do it for you.

Your friend in Texas.

CreekRat said...

Yes, well said, beautiful.

Thepsychobabble said...

I so want to give you a hug right about now. You have me in tears!

I don't think it's denial, I think you're right that it's probably still more along the lines of shock.

Margie!! said...

I have been reading your blog for about a month and my heart aches for you. I'm so sorry to knowy you lost your hubby, your partner, your BFF. I'm sorry. But, you take your time. As long as it takes. You are 100% entitled to it so do it. I had to put my beloved cat down in October of 2008, the day after my husband lost his grandma, and while losing a pet is not the same as losing a husband, I still don't have it in me to remove his picture from my phone as the backdrop. So, damnit, you take your time and you hang in there.

Hugs and love from Texas!