Reg obviously didn’t know he wouldn’t survive either. I found old videotapes and watched them after he died. In one of them, he and his friends were at a New Year’s Eve party. Reg was in his twenties and had the camera. They started to discuss having a 30-year reunion. When I heard that discussion, I felt dumbfounded that Reg hadn’t lived long enough to make that reunion. One of them asked if Reg would ever watch the videos again. I thought, “No. But his wife will after he dies. Bet none of you would ever anticipate that!” Again, my brain could not wrap around how he could possibly be gone before he even got to this 30-year reunion.
One way my brain tried to comprehend the death was to alter reality in my dreams when sleeping. I frequently dreamt that I was trying to save him. If I tried hard enough, maybe I could succeed. I also dreamt that he was just away on a business trip or consulting somewhere. My brain couldn’t grasp that he was gone; instead, I made him travel or commute in my dreams, which would explain why he wasn’t at home. I always felt so sad and disappointed when I woke up and realized he was truly gone. Then the pain would set in again.
I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I’ve said, “Come home, Reg. It’s time for you to come home!” Sometimes, I get so frustrated that he doesn’t seem to hear me or cooperate with my desires that I bang my hand or my head on the chair. Or, I stomp my foot to emphasize my point. I’m not normally a person to have a tantrum, but I get so frustrated that he hasn’t come home that a tantrum feels necessary. Surely, if I say it more emphatically or loudly, he’ll hear me and come home, right? Or, I’ve often pondered whether he could just find a new body. Though his body became invaded by cancer and could no longer function, surely he could find another body and come back to me.
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