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.