Making My Bed

I just finished making my bed.

Not the every-day making of the bed, but the washed -all -the- sheets -start- from- scratch making.

Started at 2pm, its now 2:45. I have taken 3 Advils and am seriously contemplating chocolate.

I also have 2 broken fingernails (and one toenail?) that occurred during the ordeal that I just noticed as I sit here typing.

Of course, there are the teary eyes, borne out of frustration with the task at hand and grief at remembering how it used to be.

It’s these kind of things, simple, everyday actions and  chores, that will blindside me more often than anything overt anymore. Not every time, sometimes. Little scavenger hunts from hell  that I don’t realize I am on until, boom! Surprise! grief again.

I have a California King sized bed. A two person bed. When I moved here I was committed to finally getting rid of it, getting a new, comfy and cozy queen sized, one person bed. For all the years since Tom died I had, literally, slept on “my” side of the bed. I tried his side, the middle, combinations, but it never worked for me and so I thought a new bed would be the answer. I was talking to another widow friend and she said that “sounded like giving up”. It was true, to an extent. I couched it in being more comfy, but as time goes on and dating gets more cumbersome and complicated, I can see that there was some leaning toward the inevitable and depressing idea that I would be alone forever. I began to reconsider based on her argument, and then, as expenses started piling up, the idea of not having to spend any more money became quite enticing, and the decision was made for me.

It’s actually been great though. Since I moved here I sleep all over the bed, my side, his side, the middle. I guess the change of venue helped, and now it actually feels like my bed and I am really glad I kept it. I got new bedding and a comforter and pillows and I make it every day and switch out the pillows for different looks and enjoy it  a lot.

EXCEPT when I have to change the sheets. The bed is huge. The bed is heavy. The bed is a two person job. I remember making it with Tom, 5 minutes, done. Easy. I remember making it and immediately jumping into it occasionally, sometimes mid-day…the enticement of being there with him and he with me enough to keep us there to mess it all up again.

I used to change the sheets a LOT more often when we were together. I’m a girl, I’m clean, I sleep alone…. now I can put it off and often do just because of the sheer enormity of the job. There is still nothing like crawling into bed at night with clean sheets however, even alone, and so I have that to look forward to as the tears fade, the Advil starts to work and I get back into the acceptance of what is and what will never be again.

This is grief though. The constant ordinariness of it now.  Sure there are dates that loom large, but they don’t get at me anymore like the simple, ordinary things I have lost. I wish I had to wash my sheets and change my bed more often. I wish that I could laugh while changing the bed instead of sweat and grunt and curse and break fingernails.

I’m not down for the count; I still hold on to what my friend said about giving up. I’m not ready to give up, and maybe, one day, the fact that I am now loving this bed for me will be less of a reason than  that it is big enough for two again.

Right now I am fighting my urge to drop into it; I am exhausted. Making it, grieving it, all hard work. A very different kind of jumping into a freshly made bed.

So, chocolate. And yoga in a little while. A good dinner and some more binge TV and then climbing into a freshly laundered and made bed.

Mine, with me.



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  1. We have a California king too and the only thing I hate worse than making it is buying sheets for it. Maybe it’s an east coast thing, but they don’t carry that size in stores around here. They’re huge beds, though. Can totally understand why you wanted to downsize. And also why you held onto it. Hope your evening of chocolate and yoga and binge tv watching was as good as it sounded to me.

    • it was great….
      It may be an east coast thing but I think the size is even out of favor here too now…it’s harder and harder to find that size these days.
      The best part was, of course, crawling in last night…nothing like fresh sheet for a good nights sleep.

  2. Nothing like crisp clean sheets…
    But the only thing worse than making a King bed from scratch is trying to fold a damn King fitted sheet.
    My grandmother would change sheets nearly every other day. I don’t know how she did it… But oh they smelled like heaven–lemony with a feint hint of bleach. Just like a sunny summer day.

    • wait…
      you’re supposed to fold the sheets?
      Actually, that is more impossible to do alone than the bed making!
      I’ve heard rumor of people that iron their sheets….
      the horror!!

  3. Love this post. I’ve contemplated new bed post-divorce, but obviously for reasons very different from yours. I still sleep on “my” side, too.

    Have you ever thought of writing a memoir about your life with Tom, and without him? Anecdotes like this are so beautiful, so powerful. The story would resonate with a lot of people, I think, even those who hadn’t experienced the loss you have. It could be something of a tribute to him, to the love you shared, and it might help you heal.

    • Thank you Brigette..

      I have thought about that idea; I have thought about many writing ideas…I have no idea what i want to do though hence this blog, a space where I can write whatever i want. Maybe someday something will settle…or not. I enjoy the process at this point.
      When Tom first died I wrote every day, every day! for about 2 years….when I moved i realized that I would not want anyone to ever read any of that stuff and so I dumped it all. I prefer the memories and thoughts as they come up now, rooted in today and lightened by the passage of time. I can go back to the rawness pretty easily, but that doesn’t do well for me in terms of my serenity or sobriety…it’s always the great “disturbance in the force” that can either pass or kick me to the curb emotionally; I never seem to know.
      Thanks for reading though, and commenting, I appreciate it!

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