It has been sixteen days since Pat passed away. Twenty-four days since this ordeal began. The clock has continued to tick, the dates on the calendar have continued to begin and end. I've washed laundry, swept and vacuumed floors, and cleaned toilets - as usual. I've also taken out the trash, the recycling, tried to un-green the pool and many of the jobs that were "his." Five o'clock rolls around and Sasha, "his" dog, and I both expectantly listen for the car pulling in the driveway that never comes. She knows it isn't coming and she sighs as she lays her head between her big paws. We breathe in, we breathe out. I try to remember to eat. Funny how the dogs aren't seeming to have too much trouble with that.
I had brought Sasha to the funeral home to see his body. Until I did that she was racing out to every car that arrived, circling, sniffing the tires, the doors, wondering where he was and why. The day before the funeral when I brought her to the private family viewing she raced across the room to the coffin and jumped up on it. She was wagging and she stuck her face in with him and sniffed; puzzled, she turned away hopped down and circled the room, sniffing. That was it, no more going to the coffin. She sensed that it was his body but that "he" was no longer there. From that night on the circling of the visiting cars stopped.
And so time plods by and I try to fill it. Aching moments of loneliness roll in like waves and then go pull back from my attempts at busy-ness. Acceptance blurs with surreality. I picked out the gravestone today. Do I put my name on it as well? I'm fine, really I am; I'm a fine pretender, that is. Sixteen. Twenty-four. Before I know it, there will be birthdays and holidays, tick-tick-tick-tock, without him. Without "us."