Pain comes crashing in. Time crawls past. I think, I've been sitting here for hours; in fact, I've been sitting here ten minutes.
Diminished mental capacity: check.
Waves of grief: check.
If I get through the whole list, will it end?
How long is this list anyway? And where the hell did I put it?
This morning I was struggling to recall what I'd done with his security cards. It turned out I'd put them in the pocket of the pants he was wearing. Why the hell did I do that? And when? The first day? The second? How many days has it been, again? The pants themselves are still in the plastic bag they handed me at the hospital. As are his shoes, socks, underwear, shirt. His belt. I guess the nursing staff washed the vomit off the pants before they gave them to me; I didn't notice that until today. Thank you, nursing staff.
I could never understand how people could bear burial rituals: to wash the body, lay him out, all that--it gave me the creeps. I understand now.
He was in such pain. I could do nothing, so I held his hand. I wanted to make it stop hurting. It felt like precisely the reverse of when he held my hand while I was in labor. The body takes over. We are helpless in the face of our own bodies. They twist and writhe and suffer, and the brain can be the mightiest brain on earth and it means nothing.
I was married to that body. It belonged to me, as my body belonged to him. My body does not yet know that he is not coming back. It will.
"Thou'lt come no more.
Never, never, never, never, never."
Lear howls. I howl. Howl, wind, crack, ye heavens.