When you’re a couple in a family there are things that are no brainers. Who will run to the grocery store, who will pick up the kids, who will help with the kid’s outings and clubs? There are two of you. Together, you can divide and conquer. When one of the two is dying, you can prepare for many things. Some of the things you can’t prepare for are the small stuff, the little daily things that together you handled, handled even joyfully…those little no brainers.
There have been many days that would have been a no brainer since my husband’s death.
Just an example –
Sam’s Cub Scout den is having a bike ride on the local biking paths through the city parks. It will serve as a fulfillment for one of his little badges. It’s a lovely day. It is a great day for a bike ride. For me though, it is a stressful day. I have been putting it off all week. The bike path the den mothers chose to ride on is a distance from my house. I cannot ride the distance on my bike with Sam, Ben in tow to get there and then complete the ride. So all week, I thought about how will I get the bikes in my car??? All week I planned to try to fit the puzzle of bikes and boys into my wagon. All week I avoided it. All week I shoveled to the back of my head. Well today, I try to put the bikes in the car. I tried several variations. They don’t fit. No bike ride with the cubbies. Disappointment is felt all around the house. Sam can’t go. I’ve let him down again. We all just fester in our own pain. If Dave were still alive, it would be a no brainer. We’d throw the bikes in his truck (no Dave, no company truck anymore) and drive to the park, or we’d have two cars to drive; one for bikes one for people, or even better…Dave would throw the bikes in his truck and take off with the boys and I’d get an afternoon of solitude!
Well, those days are gone. Sometimes, I just wish people could understand how huge this is. The couple families can’t even see it. I never saw it before Dave died. Even when they are divorced, they still have another parent (sometimes, at least the ones in the cubbie group do). No brainers become failures and days that sometimes I am just so disappointed in myself and mad that my spouse is gone…that I can hardly see straight. The woe is me factor is certainly waving its flag. The “if only’s” are yelling in my face.
I’m sure there are thousands of other ways I could have handled this day. I’m sure there are thousands of other people who could tell me what I should have done. The fact still remains that for most of my days my husband’s death is still like an open wound. These little no brainers are like the alcohol that is poured in to disinfect. I know that I need to face these things to get better and learn how to handle my life, but it still makes me scream in pain. It still gauges my heart sharply. Just when I think it was starting to scab over and heal, another no brainer shows up to challenge me.
Maybe the no brainers are more troubling because they are no brainers…it was so easy before he died. Things just happened like magic. Trips were made to the grocery store without a fight with a baby to get in the car. The kids were always picked up and moved from place to place…most the time smoothly because there were two adults so the systems varied enough that the kids were happy. Little outings for clubs, school and god forbid…even just for fun…just happened. Like magic….I miss the magic. I miss the ebb and flow, the give and take, the differences between us that made us such a good team. I miss the no brainers.