Monday, June 21, 2010

David Jobs

Today is a "David's Job" day. A David job is any task that was routinely done by the husband and dad of the house. Within the first week following his death I called a meeting of all living at home (me and the two boys)and we came to an agreement of who would be handling the "David jobs". It was agreed upon, with some reluctance from all involved that Jon would unclog the toilets, Stephen would kill the spiders and I would handle the trash. It seemed to work for about 30 days and then the boys returned to college and I was left to handle the "issues".

I really didn't know how many "David jobs" there were until they started popping up on a regular basis. Apparently David was the one who locked the doors and turned out the lights every night. He changed light bulbs. He changed all the clocks in the house when daylight saving time hit. I actually lived for the first two years without changing the clocks or locking the doors. It's not that the tasks were too difficult. I just didn't want to do it. It was a "David job". My sister moved in with me during year two and forced the issue. She doesn't live in houses that aren't locked at night. Go figure!

Well I share all that to point out that today is a "David job" day. This week will be the fourth anniversary of his death and I really thought that all these issues would be resolved by now. I now change the light bulbs and the clocks. I kill the spiders (well, OK I mostly shoo them away or pretend they're not there) and I empty the trash and handle simple plumbing issues all by myself. At some point I just assumed that the tasks that were once David's would become just routine and not be the reminder of loss and generator of grief that they have for the past three years.
Apparently I was wrong. Who knew?

Today I will be taking David's dad to the doctor. It's a monthly trip we make together to a large hospital in the area. Routine and not difficult for either one of us. David Job. After I return I will be spending some time in the front yard cleaning up limbs and debris from a weekend storm that blew through. I have some help coming but still...David job. Somewhere between doctors and lawns I will need to go on line and buy Tiger baseball tickets. David's dad loves the Tigers and he has his heart set on going to the series with Minnesota. For the past three years my boys have taken grandpa. A good time was had by all. The last family activity we all did together before David's death was go to a Tiger game. Well, both boys are not available this summer so I will be going with grandpa to the game. It will be a good time together but not as fun for either one of us without the boys. David job.

Then at some point today I will need to scoop up David's beloved cat, Fred and take him to the vet. Fred is 17 years old and failing fast. Today is the day. David loved that cat. Fred loved David and kept guard over him as the cancer robbed David of his strength and then his life. Fred is now in distress and the vet says it's time to let him go.

I am aware that some folks wonder why I still grieve four years after David's death. It's days like today that make it impossible NOT to grieve. I would have to be an unfeeling robot not to cry a few tears today. I've packed my purse with Kleenex and I'm giving myself permission to grieve today. The clueless bystanders who don't understand the need for grief will just have to remain clueless. I can't please everyone today and I've decided to give my attention to "David jobs". His dad and his cat loved David very much and have earned the right to be tended to.

Wow! What a heavy posting today! Sorry. Some days are just like that. What is surprising to me is that I really assumed these days would go away with time. I really didn't expect to still be grieving over the "David jobs" four years after his death. Now I realize that grief is not something you "get over". Grief is a life sentence you learn to manage. It gets less painful and less emotionally draining but it never really goes away.

OK. I could be wrong. Perhaps year 4 will be grief-free. Maybe year 5 will be a whole new day free of tears and "David jobs". I'm not counting on it. Does that sound less than encouraging? Sorry. I try to make our weekly meeting a positive and helpful time together. I also try to keep it real and honest. Let's just say today is really real.

In the midst of a day filled with "David jobs" and reminders of his absence in my life I am still thankful for all the days I had with David. I am thankful for the privilege of keeping my promise to him and taking care of his dad .... and his cat. Today I get to be David's wife and handle his "stuff". Even grief days can be good days too. - Well... sorta. I still have to say goodbye to Fred. Perhaps the only good thing about the day will be that it will be over before I know it. Some days you just do your best to get through it.

Next week I promise to tell funny stories and laugh with you. If you think of it, say a prayer for me today and for all who grieve. Some days are just.... awful.

Gotta get going. The only way through the day is through it. See you next Monday.

Karen PS - I am now posted at Wordpress-

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