Monday, August 13, 2007

The Senses

In speaking to a couple other widows, I have learned that many of them keep clothing around because of the 'smell' that is there of their loved one.

I am interested because I don't have a sense of smell (it's a genetic thing and yes I can taste things fine). However I have used other senses to remember and keep Jim's presence around me.

Sight is important sense for me. Photos are all over the place. My blog is filled with just an inkling of what I have of him. I love to look at a photo of him and remember that moment in our lives. The laughter showing in his eyes, the hug he is giving his sister or brother, the calmness as he is on the couch with the dogs, the joy he shows when he is next to me. That makes me smile. Looking at the photos let me remember him in a good way. There have been moments of pain lately. The knowledge that no more photos can be taken of him. This sadness sometimes is overwhelming and makes me want to take all the pictures down. But it helps me grow some and be stronger as it passes.

Touch is another sense that I use. What do I touch, well, the Hawaiin shirts he wore all the time, what others can smell, I can feel. I can rub my finger on them and remember Jim. I sleep with one tucked in my pillowcase. The shirt he wore on Memorial Day, our last day. I rub my fingers on this as I go to sleep at night. It gives me a sense of connection to him. At this stage, it is still important. Others have moved onward, Jim is still near me in many various ways. The hawaiin shirt is a comfort food made of material.

With touch I also do a both an odd yet soothing thing. I run my fingers thru my hair. It is short now and it is just about Jim's length. So I close my eyes and feel my hair and imagine it is Jim's. I can think about doing this as we made love, or when he was on the couch next to me or when he was sick and needed comforting. It was a simple gesture that calms my soul.

Hearing is a sense I am not sure I am ready for. I mean, I hear his voice at times, but other widows have told me they play songs from albums or CD's or play the loved ones favorite radio station. I have a difficult time in listening to a song. It makes me cry when I think that I will never hear this song with Jim again. I have found that I need to listen to music that was not his or his and mine. I need to hear songs or bands that are ones that I would be interested in but that he would never play. I am listening to musicals now. I know I have driven my neighbor crazy with A Chorus Line and my singing all the parts to it. But if I hear BeeGees I will start to cry. That was the music Jim loved. And now he is gone.

There is the same problem with TV shows and movies. I am not sure if this is sight or sound or what. There is a definate pain when I watch certain shows. As such, I am watching shows that Jim and I never watched together. I can do this without the pain of remembering. Remembering when we watched Columbo or Monk or Simpsons or Godfather or Spartacus. A hole comes to my chest when I see these and start thinking of Jim. It's the 'never again' hole.

Taste. Yup. Not as often, but still a rememberance of small things, like when we had steamed crabs and corn. Well, Jim putting Old Bay on his corn, pops into my head. I gave my Dad the jalapeno peppers and my friend Tom the Hot sauce and some other food that was 'Jim' food.

So my sense of smell is not in action, but then, I never have really known what Jim smelled like, so I don't miss it. I do miss the feel of his muscles under his shirt and the touch of his hands on my cheek or the sight of his eyes giving me a look and the taste of his skin or the sound of his laughter. The senses of Jim. There are a lot of them.

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