Inside Out

October 26, 2005

As a creature of habit there are touchstones in my daily life that help me to feel grounded and on track. Obviously, talking to Michele was a big part of my life, and those times of the day are difficult now.

At work I usually called Michele once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Sometimes there would be three or four calls in a day. Today, after I finished my lunch my first thought was to call Michele. I still can’t get used to the idea that there is no calling her any more. I have called our number at times just to listen to the few words she said as a part of our voice mail greeting. It seems the aural memory is not my strong suit, I am already having a hard time remembering the sound of her voice.

On the evenings when we went to sleep at the same time we always said goodnight to each other. There was a pattern to our ritual and it was comforting. The first few nights I was alone I didn’t know what to do. Now I am closing my eyes and softly saying what I used to say to her in the dark. And when I listen with my heart I can hear her answer.

I still talk out loud to her at times. Not as much as the first week when it felt like I had a continuous running conversation with her, but some every day. I think hear the sound of my own voice helps to fill the emptiness that fills the apartment. Talking to Nekko and Taz helps too, and I think they like it as well.

Michele had her own routine regarding the cats and I am slowly discovering how to fill in for them. Nekko in particular liked to sit on the back of our overstuffed chair and have Michele rub her ears. I have learned to spend some time in that chair of an evening so that Nekko can get her needs met.

Part of my life seem normal, and other parts are still very surreal. I feel as if I have been turned inside out and I recognize that I may never be right side in again.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.