The Firsts

The first time you forget he died.  I woke up after falling asleep after he died, I instinctively reached over for him.  Puzzled at not finding him here (the guy is paralyzed, where the hell could he be?), I opened my eyes.  I wasn't at my house.  I was at my friend's house where I had gone after.  After he died.  I had forgotten.  And I had to remember all over again.  

The first time sometime asks you his date of death.  Guy on the phone at social security asked me when I called to report my husband had died: Date of death?  My breath caught, my eyes filled with tears, I couldn't breathe for a moment.  I shook my head physically side to side and managed to say through tears "February 4, 2018".  

The first time you have to say your marital status is 'widow'. I already told the entire story in another post of the first time I was asked my marital status, and upon realized I now had to say "widow", I passed out cold on the floor, awoke and vomited on a stranger's shoes.  

The first time you take the handicapped hangtag out of your car.  That was an totally unexpected one for me.  It was a colossal kick in the ass that not only was he gone, but a huge part of my identity was gone.  I don't have the right to rant about handicapped parking anymore.  I'm just a regular person. I don't have special status because I'm a quad wife.  That one totally caught me off guard because I wasn't expecting it at all.  And it was a first because I had to put it back up and down to pick up a handicapped friend recently.  Next time hiring an accessible taxi.  I simply can't take putting that thing up and down ever again.  

The first time you lie about how you really are. The first time you leave your grief teepee (mine was laying on the couch alternatively between numb and sobbing in the aforementioned friend's home) out into the real world and the first person you see at the store cheerfully smiles and says "Hi! How are you today?" and then follows it up as you leave "Have a great day!".  How am I today?  How AM I?  Are you fucking kidding me??? I am terrible.  But I'm ever so glad you asked.  Have a great day?  At this point, I honestly, and I'm being truthful, this is not hyperbole, I cannot fathom having another great day ever again.  A ok-ish day someday, maybe.  In a long time.  Maybe I'll have a good time in like a decade, for a few hours.  But a great ENTIRE DAY?  Nope, never again.  But, thanks anyway.    

The first shower.  Chad started dying on Jan 29th.  He finished dying on Feb 4th.  The first time I showered from whenever it was previous to Jan 29th was February 13th. Hygiene seems so completely, I don't know, trivial?  I don't care at all what I look like, and in fact, I think that I'm trying to get the outside of me to match more accurately how the inside of me feels.  

The first time someone calls for your husband and you have to tell them he's dead.  "Yes, hi this is your husband's super helpful insurance's company calling to schedule his annual wellness visit, would he be available on February 23rd?".  I shit you not.  I paused so long that she asked if I was still there.  This was less than 72 hours after he had died.  I thought the call was something else, I would not have picked it up otherwise. I don't think he needs a wellness exam. 

I'm so excited about all the other firsts I'm going to experience.  And I'm going to write every goddamned one of them down.