I've cribbed this from a response to AARP's "Never Alone International" group, since I'm widowed, of the right age, and the group's for widows. Someone wrote about her difficulties with unexpected crying. So I wrote:
The crying thing is surprising.
It's been almost four years, and the other night, while talking with my mother about her late husband (my step-dad) Bill and about Robert, I suddenly choked up completely and started weeping.
Just from speaking his birth and death dates aloud . . . which I've done many times. But this time . . . out of the blue, WHAM!
That's Bill and my Mother, taken at Christmas, 1994
Life's like that, and so we go skipping merrily down the path, wondering what little emotional booby-trap we may spring on the way . . . but never stopping to wallow.
And out of all that, I'm grateful. It's better than the two years of numbness I went through, deeply depressed and clutching a pillow at night in a near-fetal position, crying quietly to myself a lot and unexpectedly -- which is bizarre, because the waitress who'd triggered it had only asked if I was ready to order.
THAT was another odd one.
Although I did eventually give away most of Robert's clothes, we were within a half-inch of each other as to sleeve and trouser lengths. The same at the waist. So his clothing has become mine, which is only right: we used to borrow from each other all the time.
But I no longer hold it to my face because it smells like him.
And I no longer rage that there's nobody in this podunk burg that I can talk to about it. I am a gay widow, but not a merry one.
Until I remember to go dancing down the path, toward the future.
Cindy-Lou died last year at the age of 21 - a great age for a kitty.
Robert died at the age of 40.
I wonder what that is in cat years.
And, as Linda Ellerbee says, "so it goes."