I sold Michael’s machinist tools on Friday night and today I went to the DMV to get the remaining car titles put in my name.

I sat in the DMV today, which was unusually horrifically crowded, in this complete Zen like state. I just kept staring ahead as I clutched the forms, the letters testamentary from the court, his death certificate and my identification. Everyone was complaining about how crowded it was and how long they were waiting. Everyone was talking to everyone else. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about anything.

I waited for an hour, then two. I kept staring ahead. I knew that when my turn came I had to go to the window and say “My husband died…” and I hate those words. I still hate those words so much.

When I got to the window the woman was very kind and I did not have all the forms and she gave me some and had me fill them out. Again, no emotion…just Zen like or maybe it was zombie like. I don’t know.

I came home and called the insurance company and said plainly, “I would like to take Michael DiCarlo off my policy.” The man said, “Well you can’t do that since he’s your spouse unless you have a decree of divorce.” I said slowly, “Michael is deceased.” It was just this horrible moment. Like I can never ever ever get used to saying it. Like it feels like a punch in the stomach every single time.

He said, “Oh I’m sorry…let me gather the policy information and I will get back to you.” Again I just stared ahead while on hold. He came back and said he adjusted the policy back to January since Michael was deceased before then.

So it is done. I will no longer see Michael A. DiCarlo, spouse on my auto insurance policy. Nor on my taxes. Nor on my work directory.

I didn’t think the tool box bothered me so much because he normally had it at work and had just brought it home before he got sick but when I pulled in the garage and it wasn’t there, it did bother me. All the things that made him who he was, the boat, the cars, the tools….they are slipping away.

It’s been almost 8 months since he died…19 since he got sick. It’s taken me this long to do these things. I have his cell phone still turned on and I want to record his message and then shut it off but that will take me a while longer as well.

I sometimes feel so disloyal. Other times I think that if he comes back, what will he think if these things are not here. I thought that the whole time he was sick. If he gets well, he will want his boat, his cars, his phone. I couldn’t touch them. And sometimes I still irrationally think that if he comes back…..

And then I am struck with the thought, “He is not coming back….ever…” and the grief wells up in me like it’s Day One. I don’t cry every day anymore. I sometimes don’t cry for three or four days at at time. I am stretching it out, learning to live without him…but the words “without him” can still steamroll me when I think about it too much.

And I sat there today staring ahead, for two hours, so I didn’t have to think that and I didn’t have to cry in front of the nice lady.

And we shuffled the papers and filled out the forms.

And then I walked out into the sunshine which felt bizarre and out of place. Like me.

And that was, somewhat, that.

Until the next time.

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