This Too Shall Pass.
They were knocking on the door. The police, knocking on my door, 8:15 on a Saturday morning. I didn’t want to get up, fix my hair and pretend I had been up. It was just about our ‘bad’ neighbors anyway. They kept knocking. My two dogs (one his before me, one mine, before him) followed me to the door. The officers were very stern, very serious. I was going to be sick. I saw this on TV – when cops come to talk to wives of cops.
Yes, I am his wife I answered and they came in. I tried to fix my hair, but couldn’t seem to make my hand do it. They said he died at a gas station just down the street.
“He was just going to play golf” I said. That didn’t matter. They gave me some details, but I needed only one answer, “So, he’s not coming back?” There was more talking… “Wait, he’s not coming back?”
One of the dogs, his before me, climbed into the bathtub ~ I couldn’t get her to come out. My family appeared immediately. His family appeared from everywhere. People were helping and talking, whispering really. I felt love, not pity. I believe I felt more love at these times than I ever have in my life. I felt the strength of both families. Each feeling a different loss. Each person of each family shared what strength they could.
We followed through with the ceremonies and traditions. I looked out over the hundreds, maybe over one thousand, people at the church, and felt love and strength. I could see them remembering him. I talked for awhile, trying to include each one of them in stories of him. I could see in their faces they understood.
I lied on the ground, next to his place. I talked to him for many days.
I felt weak, I felt strong. I felt I could get through the madness, the sadness, fix things and find things. I realized I was very lucky to have two families and two real friends helping me. The dog was still in the tub, but I believed that in time, she too could get out. She had to get out. I made myself get up every day, shower, fix my hair, like I couldn’t do before. I went to work every day. It was a struggle. It was painful at times. I had two families, two friends and two dogs to lean on. My mother and sisters made calls, found important papers, cooked, cleaned and listened. His brothers and sisters came over, made calls and wrote thank you cards. My two friends talked to me every day; helped with the littlest things, helped with the biggest things. My dog laid on my legs. His dog crawled out of the tub one day. She was ready. I was almost ready. I could feel it. It was awful. It was over. I believed I could keep going, change and keep going. I believed ‘this too shall pass.’
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