I choked back tears during most of the drive home that day, and again when I handed over the box to his parents so that they could arrange to bury the remains in his hometown ACDC band skull Motor Harley Davidson shirt. Notifying this and that institution, putting finances and accounts in my name, getting the recommended number of copies of the death certificate, and so on and on and on. Phoning such institutions still is not a talent of mine, and it only gets harder when the calls have to start with your customer, who was my husband, has died followed by a concerned-but-detached “I’m sorry” from a now-alarmed phone answerer. Becoming a widow did not motivate or energize my job hunt. My old boss called me back in soon after the company was resurrected under a new name, but even factoring out the lurch that the economy took, I had not made much progress.
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Most of the rest of the details were bureaucratic with the worst sort of emotional overtone ACDC band skull Motor Harley Davidson shirt. Beyond that, it is hard not to feel perhaps even selfish. Of course, I miss him for himself, his sense of humor, and all the things I fell in love with him for. But I seem somehow to feel his loss most keenly for all the things he did for me that I can’t or don’t like doing: creating and maintaining an amazing home network that’s now gradually deteriorating in ways I don’t understand; cooking every other time we ran out of leftovers; doing nearly all the shopping. It’s an ongoing quandary for me in social settings, too: explain to someone I just met that I’m a widow, which alarms and flusters people and is not a good introduction to the funny story I intend to tell; or go on referring to “my husband” in the past tense and just don’t mention why?