Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Unwanted (but necessary) closure.

Holy shit did this morning suck. I woke up nauseous and nerve-wracked. I took a Zofran and a Xanax and got in the shower. The Zofran wasn't working. I asked Billy Jo if she could take the nausea away, which resulted in me sobbing uncontrollably in the shower for ten minutes. The great thing about crying in the shower is that no one knows.

I think what did it was a reason I'd like to explain here, but it's one of the things I wrote and intended for the book. It became all too real today. (Sorry for the tease)

Getting to the funeral home didn't help. I was a fucking hot mess train wreck. I couldn't stop crying. Used up my strength yesterday, apparently.

This was it. I would be holding her hand for the last time. Ever. I have pictures, I have memories, but this was it, physically speaking. And it was fucking gut-punching awful.

Another wonder pill finally did the trick to calm me down, and the service was nice. Her mom had a very nice speech. I didn't speak. I would have just rambled on for half an hour, repeating myself several times.  I'm the only person I know who regularly gets cut off by voicemail systems. Besides, I'd have just ended up an unintelligible blubbering mess that would have probably ended up with me screaming "no!!!!!!!!!!" and doing the "take me with you!" coffin dive.

Tears flowed again as everyone passed by to pay final respects, and then I was left alone, for the final time. I spent ten minutes telling her everything I could, never letting go of her (cold) hands. Then I decided to spread a little Florida sand on her stomach and hands. I almost forgot there was a way to get something physical. I asked for scissors and cut a few locks of her hair off.

And then, I left the physical body of my wife for the final time with a kiss on her forehead.

Afterwards, a bunch of people gathered at a brewpub/grill for lunch and it really calmed me down the rest of the way. Relief was again the dominant emotion, after a morning tag team session ass-kicking by grief, sorrow, hopelessness, and loss.

I had a few beers with lunch. Two. First drinks I've had in three and a half months. I needed a break especially since I seemed to forget my limit quite regularly during my year of depression. A good time with 4 or 5 beers could turn into a shitfaced 15-18. It was a much needed hiatus. Once Billy Jo got sick and I was her caregiver, having a beer was the furthest thing from my mind.

Two more "signs" I can't help to think she's giving me: During the service a few firetrucks drove by, sirens blaring. I couldn't help but think she dispatched them. Then we get to the brewpub and one of the TVs has a show on sailfish and marlin fishing - something she LOVED doing. How many times do you see deep sea fishing shows on TV? It's always rivers and lakes, bass and muskies, etc. Hell, when we first started dating I asked if she wanted to go fishing with me and she patted me on the head and said, "oh honey, that thing you and your friends call fishing I call bait fishing to go catch real fish." How emasculating :)

Here's how I left her, for the final time.

Six or so weeks and you begin your new life in a lot more sand. And water. And fishies.