The Twilight Zone

The past two days have had surreal moments. Actually, all of my days have them. Sometimes I take them in stride. In the early days they overwhelmed me in sheer volume and awesomeness.

I get emails from people in foreign countries telling me how my story has touched their lives. I hear from widows who are reaching out to make the connection with another young widow, strangers who have the worst possible thing in common, but a tie that makes us sisters in a club we cannot quit. I get phone calls from former coworkers of Bob’s wanting to reach out to our family and offer help. Neighbors and friends still come around to check in on us, make us meals, mow our lawn, entertain the kids. We have a village that wraps around the world.

Yesterday, though, the people who touched my life didn’t know me, didn't know my story--they worked for AT&T, in a call center, and they helped me disconnect my husband’s cell phone. It was one of the final to dos I had on my list. For some reason, I thought I was ready to do it yesterday. I hadn’t cried in so many days. Until I made that call. “I am so sorry for your loss,” she said. My voice cracked a little as I said, “Thank you.” By the time I’d been transferred to the customer relations agent, I was crying. Not sobbing. Not yet.

“Wow, your husband was young. He was younger than me.”

“Yes, he was young. He had cancer.”

“I am so sorry.”

After the call, I curled up on my bed and sobbed. Over a phone. But not over a phone. Over all the text messages we exchanged. Over all the calls we shared. And all the ETA? texts I’ll never need to send. Over all the times we won’t talk again. Over the finality of it all.

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