Published on Medium, February 22, 2022
I did a big thing yesterday. Well, to you it may seem small but, for me, being 127 days into my grieving process, it was monumental.
I changed my sheets. The same sheets that we spent our last night together in. The sheets that we would lay in bed cuddling while watching our shows, talking, laughing, planning for the weekend. These sheets were the encapsulation of the last hours we would spend together. Oblivious to how precious these hours were and the horror of what would come next.
These were the sheets that I cried into the night I found out. That held me as I stayed up all night begging him to come back to his body. Something that quite honestly, I still do from time to time even though I know full well there isn’t a body for him to come back to.
Now, you might think it’s gross that it took me four and a half months to change them; and quite honestly, I don’t care. If it were you in my situation, you too would hold onto any last strand of your life with your love once they were ripped from the physical world.
But when I woke up this morning I knew. I knew today was the day. All morning I got myself mentally prepared for this major step forward I was going to take. Solo. It had to happen, I was ready. Plus, they were getting funky.
With his voice in my head encouraging me, I took our sheets off our bed. As expected, I had a surge of emotions. After all, this is the first thing in our home that I have really moved since that day.
As I stripped our bed and conversed with him, I decided to leave his pillowcases still on his pillows exactly as he left them; crooked and half on his pillows that are still holding all of his smell. Of course, I took a big ole whiff.
As I looked at our now naked bed, I didn’t know what to expect next. Would I not feel as close to him? Would this somehow shift the dynamic of my process? Nevertheless, me and my funky ass sheets forged forward.
While they were in the laundry, I got a spiritual nudge to get my car washed. Something I haven’t done since way before this happened. As I vacuumed underneath my front passenger seat (his seat), I found something.
It was a bottle of tea. His tea. Unopened and seemingly left for me to find on this day. Now you may be thinking “it’s a bottle of tea, so what?” but if you know him, you know that this was just a little sign of validation to say “hey, I’m still here”.
It was everything I needed to help me solidify that I had done the right thing. And that even though our sheets are now clean, and I will be the only one physically inhabiting them, he is still very much here with me. Intertwined with my being forever.
Grief is a funny thing. To outsiders, small acts like this seem mindless, weird, and full of judgment.
To those on the inside, who shared their life with someone every day, these small steps are Herculean acts of bravery. And no, that’s not being dramatic. Every aspect of the day is a first time doing something without them there. It’s a tiny way of begrudgingly forging forward as the one who is still here in the physical.
It’s important for outsiders to hold space and not judge this process. Be thankful you don’t know what this feels like while allowing us to move at our own pace and in our own time.