It occurs to me I should take a picture of her crocuses to show her…later. I’ll show her later. It gets later and later. She still isn’t here.
I try to do as we mourners are told: “live in the moment.” In that “now,” I forget sometimes that our life together even existed. Then the abyss that is my loss of our life re-veals itself. The child’s voice in my heart asks, “why can’t I have her back. Can’t she come back? Please?” Continue reading So much loss→
For two and a half months now, my partner Susan and I have been arguing about how often to pull the chains on her grandmother’s clock. Although she’s had this clock for decades and we have taken care of it together for almost all of that time, she recently decided that I was winding it too often.
It was a long time coming, her leaving. It took almost 3 years for the stage IV ovarian cancer to do her in. Almost 3 years, that is, after she was diagnosed. Who knows how long IT was there, festering, until she got that terrible, loud, hacking cough that wouldn’t go away, and they found liters of fluid in the pleural lining around her lungs and a rotten ovary.
So much time: me worrying, her focused on beating it. So much time: us living with cancer, around it, in spite of it. It didn’t stop our son from growing 3 years older, 12 inches higher, and into a deep voice. It didn’t stop us from our fights over nothing and agreements about what was important. It didn’t stop her from working, until there were only weeks left. By then, time had begun to move like roiling thunderclouds across the sky. So dark, yet we could still see. We thought we could still see. We couldn’t really see. When it came, when she had to go, it was a complete surprise. To both of us.
[My partner, Susan, died two weeks ago of ovarian cancer. This is what I read at the memorial service today, December 16, 2012.]
My dear dear Susan,
In the much-too-short video you left for me, you told that me one of the most important things to you in our long relationship was that I had come to share with you your love for Switzerland. Many of our sweetest memories together (and then with Gus) were there, the homeland of your beloved father Gaudi, who inspired in you his own love of Switzerland. I am so grateful you shared with me: Basel, Samedan, the Engadin, hiking . . .
Remember in 1996, when we stayed at Il Fuorn, in the Swiss Nationalpark?
On the way there, we stopped in Zernez to find hiking boots for me. You explained in apologetic but, of course, very good Swiss-German that I needed boots that were curt und brite (short and wide). The shopkeeper found some, and then made a custom fit for me by pounding out the toes with cobbler’s tools.
The bus into the park went up an incredibly narrow, winding road next to a sheer drop-off. Just in time, I turned to follow your finger, pointing at the Tannenhäher, the bird your Dad had told us about, as it dove down to the valley below. Continue reading Dear Susan→