On January 8th, last year, we received the diagnosis of Himself's bile duct cancer. It is winter and I relive those days over and over. The pain is indescribable. I'm holding on by my fingernails some days. I remember the strength it took for me to protect his needs, his wants, his wishes because it was happening to him. Not me. Not all these other people who thought they knew better and thought this should be done and that should be done. Holding, loving, caring for this man I loved was the easy part. The hard part was other people sometimes. And yet, you forgive them for they knew not what they did. Particularly those who hurt him; with their words, with their actions, most painfully with their absence. We are only human. But reliving it, the distance, not yet a year, for some reason makes it harder to forgive, to let go, to love hard when you least want to. But I will, because character is forged there, in the fires of adversity. When you want to rip the sky apart and sweep the debris of people away in an unfathomable rage. You can go either way. I choose love over hate but I will also let go. I am not that strong that I should pretend to be less than human. I let go in sadness. And I hold dearly on to the memory of those who stood beside me. You are well loved by me even if you don't think I know how much you gave me. You gave us. I do. It is this that allows me to forgive and move on. I will talk with you all one day when I am stronger. When I can "be" again.
Dying is sometimes quiet. The true definition of a deafening silence. When George stopped eating altogether I was gently told by my doctor that it was not time to force him to do so. I remember being gently guided that way. By the doctors and nurses then. Because they knew what I couldn't accept. George knew what I couldn't accept. And he sat there on the couch with all that knowledge burning at the soul in his eyes and reached for my hand. Quiet. It was quiet. Faced with mortality I had nothing to say in response. I just held his hand. I didn't cry much then. But I do now. And that is okay. It is okay.
The paperwar. The mail. The things I need to do look at me from piles and I have no will to do them. What is this mundane foolish life that pesters us from the corners of our vast despair?
I feed my little dog and cuddle him. He wants his dinner at exactly 4:30. He wants to play with his toys. He is not quiet. He makes me laugh. He insists himself into my quiet world. Into my darkness and brings his little duckie toy and lays it at my feet. Play with me he says. Play because there is life here. Not there in your pain. There is fun to be had. And so I play with him.