No, I mean, LITERAL cold feet. For nearly 3 decades I have had frosty toes at night. (What woman doesn’t? Bonus: hot-flashes & cold feet. Fantastic.Just saying.) For the same period of time I have cuddled up with my favorite person and slipped those icy toes behind him and they found warmth. He shared his warmth. (Not exactly always willingly… Sometimes I stuck them on his warmly sleeping body in the middle of the night.. Which was probably rude. Oppsy. Sorry about that, babe.)
May 13, 2017 changed so many things. Including my cold feet. After the loss of my husband ad favorite foot warmer- I now have to put dog treats by my toes so I have someone to warm those chilly buggers up. (What is with feet?Do they abdicate their role in the circulatory system as soon as the sun goes down? FYI: not a great idea feet-you have digits. Digits require circulation so as not to fall off. Didn’t you watch Endurance??? I bought a blanket with a foot pouch for back up and I own enough slippers and warm socks to outfit a Siberian Military Regiment. It’s not the same. All these work arounds leave my feet safely on the other side of frozen but, never quite warm.
It’s such a small thing. That spot in the small of his back where I’d warm my toes. Usually while lying on the sofa next to him and tucking my lumpy popsicles behind him. It was just what we did each night. He never complained. (Though sometimes shivered and told me to move them somewhere less spine chilling.) I miss that spot. I miss cuddling on the couch and sharing our warmth- both physical and emotional. It’s the time when we’d walkabout everything and nothing. It’s the time he’d watch commercials and shows while I ignored them. That time is over. It breaks my heart even more than it freezes my toes.
Now, I tuck my frosty toes under dogs, into slippers and under blankets. Usually, at the same time. (I told you they’re COLD!) It’s not even a close substitute, nothing ever will be. But, I’m managing to keep my toes attached.
The truth is- chilly toes ad trying to warm them is symbolic of so much of my grief experience. There are some holes in my life that need to be refilled. y toes are the tipoff that iceberg. Some things Im learning to manage on my own. Like bills, lame accounts, household stuff and keeping my toes.
Other things? I simply have to experience the absence. The missing. It’s painful. It’s brutal. I sometimes feel like half of me is gone. Other times I wonder who the part that’s left is. Who am I if Im not a wife? I mean-I’m always Tracey-mom- daughter- child of god…. but, my whole bio has changed. It’s Endurance hard- to navigate these cold waters of the heart. It’s dangerous. I know that some struggle to get through grief- and others simply get stuck and stay stuck. I don’t want to get stuck.
So- I cry. I long for him. I find solutions for some of the missing pieces of my life and for others, I just grieve. Occasionally? I avoid the whole mess by having cookie dough when I wake up missing him at 2:00 am. Other times I buy gifts trying to soothe everyones pain. Neither of which works. But I am keeping the shearling slippers I bought for myself. Just saying. I’m also carrying around the 15 lbs cookie dough/grief related weight I think I’ve gained since Kyle’s Loss. (I’m scale avoidant. We’ll just leave that safely in the denial category for today.)
I’m learning what helps move me forward and what holds me back in this grief tsunami. Cookie dough (in all forms) and shopping? Weigh me down. Tears and solutions? Move me forward. slippers and pooches? Warm my feet. Mostly.
Dear lord- help me make choices that help me move forward. Help me to grieve the 10 million little losses that come with losing my favorite person. The warm spot for my toes. The encourager of my heart. The mellow to my mania. I’ll never find a replacement for him in cookie dough or Target, not even on Amazon- lord help me to focus on your presence when I feel so deeply his absence… I kind of think that might be the way THROUGH. I love you lord- Amen.