Six Weeks, Four Hours

He’s a lumbering sort of fellow, slightly hunched, always tense.

During the last six weeks, we’ve spent more time together than the previous 10 years, including around our father’s death.

Two consecutive evenings, he has found his way here. Finally comfortable, he settles into the recliner, raids the chocolate stash, and waxes philosophical on topics from his profession and mine.

Neither of us stated the date or time, but he seemed to linger until a bit after 8:36. As if we could stop her death from being real.

In six weeks since That Night, two more have died, one has gone into hospice for pancreatic cancer, and still another abandoned all hope for freedom at a newly delivered death sentence. Just in my little world.

Trying really hard to breathe, to will my heart to slow and heal.

Six weeks and four hours.

The Quiet

Infinite iterations of Quiet enshroud the night – comforting, suffocating, pondering.

Whispering winds through new spring growth, whirring of the refrigerator celebrating a sparkling kitchen, soft, steady breathing of a wee chihuahua.

Unspoken disappointment and anger, universe of silent electronics, fear.

Questioning, grieving, dreaming.

The Quiet provides respite from Busy, Important Things.

In the quiet, Grief expands and contracts – feeling Loss, Gratitude, Unfinished.

And tonight, wondering when Quiet will be my Always.


This afternoon was beautiful.

Windows and doors open, welcoming spring breezes.

Pups and I put on our gear. We made it to the Second big tree by the horse pasture, without barking at the horses! And, I even closed all three rings afterwards, with the help of Sting and a Brand New Day.

After dinner, as Gabby and I were snuggling on the sofa; “I haven’t called Mom yet.”

No. Air.

Can’t. Breathe.

Sounds. What is that sound?

Sobbing… gasping for air. Heart breaking, again.

For just a little while, the world was as before, and it was a lie. Like lovers who claim forever, it was a lie.

Shards of love, trails of heartache.

Just. Breathe.

Are you there?

One night I called you. You answered, but your voice was faint and distant. Then I woke -up.

Your son reports the basement light is always on when he goes in the house. He triple checks that it’s off before he leaves.

Your favorite neighbor discovered a white moth in her house. She carried it outdoors and let it find its way. Back across the road, perhaps?

The other day was really rough – my heart hurt as if it would explode, and I just couldn’t stop crying. “Take care of yourself.” So I did all the things one should.

Your friends told me how you thought I was so strong, and I would always be alright. I am resilient, but right now I don’t feel alright. I feel so, so sad, and I miss you.

Crying Aloud

She cried easily – at every harsh word, every slap, every hit, every slight.

I watched and learned that crying made him rage more intensely. “I’ll give you a reason to cry!” when the baby wailed as his mother whimpered and sobbed.

I watched, and learned.

No one would make or see me cry.

Except Lassie. Family tv night I cried silently- great crocodile tears rolled down my cheeks as Lassie faced death. He laughed.

A child alone, I cried as I read, as I feared a future trapped in that world, as I contemplated life knowing I was unlovable.

An adult, I usually cried only in the arms of alcohol, or a silly show. Lovers who witnessed my tears, who held and consoled me, they inevitably left; I knew I was unlovable.

So this lifetime of guarded tears ran full-tilt into the pain of a parent’s death, and is crashing upon me. Tears strangle in a flurry of everyday minutiae. Driving. Seeing her things. That damn dog. And 8:36 pm.

Once again, alone and crying aloud.

St. Paddy’s Day

Just two years ago you were fretting over the corned beef being salty, timing the side dishes, and questioning if the table was set properly.

Mrs. G. came over this afternoon “because I thought you might be lonely.” Jules and Diz called to make sure I’m okay. Remember her mom / last parent died just 6 months ago, so she understands.

I’m sad. I miss talking to you – swapping updates re the daffodils, Milo’s antics, whatever trivia drifts into the conversation.

Time to myself and Jameson’s might have been ill -considered. But at some point I just need to feel the feels, cry, and all the things, or so I’ve heard.

I’m sorry for all the times I disappointed or hurt you. I wonder if you knew you were loved.

Then again, our family was never very loving. (And then there was that time that y’all disowned me.) Consequently, I never trusted that anyone loved me, and experience has cemented that distrust.

I need to make a schedule and stick with it. Feel as if am more scattered than ever, and worry that I’m going under. Today I thought of drinking until I could sleep a dreamless sleep, of calling out from work tomorrow, of just shutting down everything for a day.

But I’m afraid that there will be no reboot,that icon will spin endlessly. That one day will blur into multiple days, without return.

Instead, will throw another log on, tap out a few more emotions to drift without witnesses or words, and pretend that I’m good. All better. No worries.

No one’s left; I can play my role.

Still counting…

One year ago you came home from the hospital with an oxygen canister, and your world was forever changed.

Signs in the windows Oxygen In Use.

Cannula in place and tubing trailing every step.

Three mile walks memories, even the trek to the mailbox later exceeded your ability.

Travels slowed then ended – it was just too much.

Two weeks, 48 hours, 2 minutes.