I Don’t Know What To Tell You: Grief week 14

Things come up when you least expect them.

My new DH (dear hubby) said he found something in the suitcase and it was potentially emotional.  He asked if I thought I could handle it now or later.  Having no idea what it was, and he afraid to go into much detail, I thought I could handle it.  So, he gave the items he found in a suitcase we brought out of the storage for him to use on his trip to visit his kids.

This was what he found:


I knew almost immediately what it was and who it belonged to.

Sam kept everything pretty uniform.  As a legally blind person, he had to know where things were.  He always bought the same sort of wallet.  He kept an extra for backup.  He had a backup for everything.

Because he always bought the same type of wallet, I knew when I opened it up, exactly what I would see.


Pictures of the kids (he would say how much he loved “that little guy” in the picture there), his family, and his ID in the center, a magnifying piece of plastic that fit in the card holder on the right and the bus pass and his credit card on the left holder.

There was one thing in the wallet that I forgot was there: A lock of his hair.


I wasn’t expecting this because I was the one who put it there.  I had cut his hair after he passed, while all my family and my bishop was around me.  The nurse gave me the plastic bag.  When they gave me all his items the same day, I must have put the hair in the wallet.  Why I put the wallet in the suitcase, I don’t know, but I must have done that too.  I don’t remember doing it.  I don’t remember doing any of it, except cutting his hair with scissors that the nurse or someone in the room must have given or got for me.

I remember my sister-in-law was crying.  I know I was crying too.  Probably my daughter was crying, but I knew she was crying because I was.  I know we were all saying goodbye, even though I’m sure that Sam was gone (his spirit) long before that day.

I remember now they said he was “very sick.”  I feel rather betrayed by the lack of urgency they conveyed to me in that sentence.  I had gone home, thinking the ICU visit was the precaution needed because of his fever and his lack of conciousness.  It was my brother, the Nurse Practitioner, who had called the Nurse on duty with Sam to ask what was going on, who told me to return to the hospital.  When I did, he was hooked up to a million machines, tubes coming out of everywhere, and a nurse sitting and constantly monitoring his vitals.

I remember when it was clear he was dying, the nurse climbing on top of him to give him CPR–the crash team coming in, the doctor leading me out.

All of this and more I remember with alarming clarity because of one little object found 6 years after Sam died, all of which make me want to cry again and ask God “Why????” and why I’m still here, missing him so much.

I might be conflicted a bit.  There is still the pang of guilt at missing a man while married to another.  I don’t know what to tell you what to do about that, because it comes up at strange, unexpected times when you think you’ve stopped feeling guilty about it.  It happens when you have literally forgotten about it.  I think this must be what happens to Veterans.  This is what happens when you go on with your life and then someone asks “Tell me about the war.”  Maybe it’s what happens to divorced people who run into an old friend and they ask about your ex.

I don’t know–But it is what it is.



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