Wednesday, September 27, 2006


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.

Sleeplessness: check.
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.



Blogger Lucia said...

Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell.

Still can't find any words of my own. Still thinking about you.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Your pain is palpable. I don't know how to help you and I wish I could.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Shakespeare's poetry is, probably, the only thing -- aside from your own achingly perfect words -- vast enough to convey the scope of your grief. It is huge, and all-encompassing ... and so terrible.

It's all so terrible.

Breathe, sweetheart. Breathe.

Thinking of you every day .....

12:09 AM  
Anonymous witchypoo said...

I wish I had a magic wand to make it all better.

Think of you every day.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Erica said...

How I wish I could be there to hold your hand right now.

12:30 PM  
Blogger mehitabel said...

It's been a little over a year since I went through this. Howl. Whatever gets the pain out. It will get better--different. Not necessarily good, but better. I'm sending you strength.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

As we are all saying, I wish there were words that could properly tell you how we are all feeling for you.

I pray for all five of you. For healing, for comfort, for anything that He can muster to make each day more liveable.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish there was something that I could say to somehow make this any less tragic or painful.

Katie, thinking about you from a couple zipcodes away, in Cambridge

10:06 PM  

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