For Widows Only-You Know You’re A Widow When

Carmen D. Lade

At the end of a good day you bust out crying for no particular reason.

At the end of a bad day you burst out laughing for no particular reason.

At the end of everyday, you crawl into bed and sleep on His side.

You refuse to throw away His toothbrush, His razor, His bar of soap. Because you think He’ll need them.

The sight of His bathrobe hanging on a hook on the back of the bathroom door reduces you to tears, but you refuse to throw it away. Because the smell reminds you of Him. And you never want to forget the best friend you ever had.

Your life revolves around trips to the cemetery to plant tulips in spring, marigolds in summer, geraniums in autumn, and mistletoe in winter. And because you promised.

You wear His wedding band looped through a chain around your neck tucked neatly under your shirt.

You wear your wedding ring. Because you still feel married.

You had a terrible horrible miserable ugly day. And He’s not here to tell you everything will be okay.

You talk to your dog. And swear to God that silly dog understands every word you say.

You tell everyone who asks, how ‘ya doing? the big lie, I’m doing fine. That’s because you know they don’t understand. You know they can’t. And you pray they never will.

You sit posed like a pooch for animal crackers over a job application. You can’t make up your mind which box to check — Single, Married, Divorced, Other — You honestly don’t know.

The lamp in the living room turns on. And you didn’t flip the switch. You truly believe it’s a message sent from Him.

You sit in coffee shops for hours and hours scribbling on paper napkins. Because you can’t stand the thought of sitting home alone.

You’re dying *pardon the pun* to get out the house, but once you get out, you yearn to get back home. You just don’t feel safe without Him at your side.

The sight of two strangers, a man and a woman, holding hands, bums you out. Because it reminds you of the life you had with Him. The life you planned to have with Him.

You get caught in the pouring rain without an umbrella. And you honestly don’t give a damn.

Your big night out is a trip to the trash bin to dump the garbage. And you swear to God, you discovered mourning joy. Because you’re thankful you got two hands to carry the banana peels, the empty cereal boxes, and the crushed vitamin D milk containers, and two able feet to carry you.

You stand over the kitchen sink eating cold pizza for breakfast.

You lose weight. Because you can’t eat — you miss Him so much you lose your appetite for chocolate.

You gain weight. Because you can’t stop eating — you miss Him so much you think a Hostess Twinkie or an Oreo Cookie will fill the void.

You mark time BD *before His death* and AD *after His death*. Because the endless memories loop your brain and you need a point of reference to handle your thoughts.

At the end of each day you ask yourself the magic question, how did I do it? Then pray the magnificent prayer, please God, can I do it one more day? And you know in you’re heart, with His help, you can.

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