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Comms – Commendations and medals…. How to Widow – a guide to a new normal



It’s weird how, when certain things happen, or doesn’t happen like they used to, I miss you more.
I talk to you every day. Our fights are magnificent, some would even call them spectacular. I am so angry at you for leaving me, but I am angrier at God. I really am. My why’s are getting more. Why this? Why me? Why you? Through all of that, I miss you. I miss talking to you, laughing about stupid stuff, little things that would make me roll with laughter. You with you dry sense of humour. Your naughty giggle. Your voice. I miss your voice.

I miss going to sleep at night, rubbing my hand over your teddy bear hair and telling you I love you. I miss cuddling up behind your back, warming your cold, cold feet with mine. A perfect fit, you and I. I miss that. I miss you kissing me in my neck, “lekker slaap.” Pulling me close against you, winter, summer – always the same.

I miss going to sleep at night, rubbing my hand over your teddy bear hair and telling you I love you. I miss cuddling up behind your back, warming your cold, cold feet with mine. A perfect fit, you and I. I miss that. I miss you kissing me in my neck, “lekker slaap.” Pulling me close against you, winter, summer – always the same.

I miss the kitchen table with you at it. Your chair, nobody sits there. I think they know you are still there.
I get so upset when Corle scratches through stuff and comes up with “gems.” I love that she finds them, but my heart aches when she brings them to me with so much love. The letters we wrote when you were on the border. The little cards and gifts of love we sent each other. The memories return and the heart aches.

Now, I know that I have to eventually get over this part. The part where every little thing gets me, where I walk into a room and see you standing there. In front of the cupboard in the dressing room, fresh out of the shower, smelling of soap and aftershave. The bedroom, in your tuxedo, ready to go out to a function. The amount of times I had to adjust that damn bowtie. The quick trips into Tonino’s after a formal function, just to show off and have a last drink before going home. I know that these memories are part of the healing. The remembering makes me stronger and should take some of the pain away, but I have a problem with that. It has been almost two months now. Can you believe it??

Two months, and still my head and my heart are not communicating. That in itself is a problem. Surely these guys should have had a good long chat by now. “Get your shit together heart, you know as well as I do he is not coming back!” “Bullshit head, you are shitting me. Of course he is coming back, he is away for a while, like when he went to the Congo. Just a little while longer and he will be standing in the door, big and brash as you please, telling me he missed home and me and even the damn dogs.” You see, communication is key, and it is just not happening. There is a huge gap here.

Now in the army that would be a total breakdown in comms. Detrimental to any operation. No comms, no ammo, no food, no nothing. Comms is key. I need these two bits of my body to get their comms in order. I need my heart to start understanding that we need to retreat. We need to make an about turn. We need to get out while the getting is good. The damn thing is stuck on sadness and want and longing and wrenching pain.

The head is making decisions, granted, not always good ones, but that is nothing new. I have never been known to think everything through all the way – that is why I had you. I had you to fill in the gaps, to “stop – think – think again – now decide” me when I needed it. Your “thing” with the raised eyebrow. I need that.

So, if I could now get the comms up and running, this whole mourning operation should be a huge success. Commendations and medals for bravery and stuff. But there seems to be total radio silence between head and heart. This operation has gone dark. I am functioning on autopilot. (Mixing “forces” here, but you get the picture.) That is not good. It leaves me second guessing myself all the time. I am lost. That deep dark area between knowing and total disbelief.

I often tell myself to think what you would have said. What your advice would have been.
It’s horrible. It’s horrible to not be able to pick up the phone and ask what your plans are after work. “Quick beer at Woodpeckers?” “First one at Kneipe order so long.” “Go on to Pirates, I”ll take my own car.” “Not Kobus again … it’s the 3rd time this week.”
Head, head … it’s heart … come in, over….

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