This week's post from Mari shares some raw memories of the moments she shared with her husband in the hospital just after his death. If you are feeling vulnerable in your own grief experience today, please either proceed with caution or know that as an act of self-care it's OK to choose not to read today's post.
It’s been 10 months since I saw you leave this world. It still doesn’t feel real that you are no longer here. Flashbacks of that horrible day haunt my mind every day. I try not to think of it, but those memories keep coming back. I remember that day when the hospital nurse kept calling me to go see you. I didn’t even want to answer the call, because I knew you were leaving me. I didn’t want this to be true. I remember driving to the hospital to go see you with our baby girl. I remember being in a state of shock and disbelief that this was even possible. That you were not going to make it. All I kept hearing on that drive was our daughter say “papa, papa”, as we were going to you. I remember stopping at a stoplight, and something felt different. I looked at the sky and feared the worst. As I parked at the hospital, I couldn’t bring myself in to go see you. I knew that if I went in there, there was no going back. With help, I was finally able to enter the hospital. As I walked into the area to enter your unit, I saw two individuals standing in front of me. They said, “He passed away at 9:05 am”.Read more
Another week past and overall things have been even keel. However the dreaded dates pile one on top of another. July 15th is Tin’s first birthday. July 4th is Tin's and my anniversary and today, June 29th, 2018 is the first anniversary of my father Wayne’s passing.
I know this writing is not based mainly on my lost partner Tin but it has a strong and strange effect on my healing. My father passed away 3 months before Tin was diagnosed with terminal liver failure. My father had over 13 back surgeries, was addicted to pain medication and became an alcoholic to try to manage what the pills could not do. We all thought he would pass away from liver failure. He had heart failure the same as his father Thomas whom I got my middle name from. The irony is that Tin, who did not drink nearly as much as my father, passed away from acute liver failure. I have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure so now I fear the fate of my father and grandfather. All the while, a glass of red wine is good for the heart but bad for the liver. So life feels like a walking contradiction. I have new fears that never occurred to me until the past year. As I write this there is a commercial for a heart attack medication on the television and I can’t help but wonder if it is a “sign”.
I know that I have better health than both of the men that left my life but perhaps that is another complexity of being a gay man. You lose your father, you lose your partner and you could have the same ending. It’s easy to support family and friends that have breast cancer but that is an evil disease that effects women much more often and a man has a harder time relating to that disease. My mother has beat breast cancer and I am so thankful. A dear friend beat cervical cancer and I can provide all the support possible but I can’t relate. She could do the same but not relate if someone had prostate cancer. I’m rambling but this is what goes on in my head. Either way my fears have intensely heightened.Read more
Today is 2 years since my beloved husband Chuck died.
I've always used the word died since he...died. Don't care at all for the other, gentler words. Not at all. I need the harsh words to remind me that he is indeed dead because there is a part of me, somewhere inside of me, a part I can't identify, that just doesn't believe that he's dead or that this isn't some huge cosmic joke being perpetrated upon me and someday he'll come walking in the door and we'll both be totally disbelieving and we'll hug and hug and hug some more and then we'll have wild and crazy sex and then, well, get back to our lives.
I'm not in denial. I know Chuck is dead. I feel it...have felt it...in every part of my body since 2 years ago, April 21. He's gone. Gone, gone, gone.
And yet, I swear that there is still a part of me that doesn't believe it. That can'tbelieve it. How can he be gone when he and I were so connected? How can it be that I'm walking on this earth, just Alison, without his name said in the same breath? We were Chuck and Alison. That couple who, after 24 years, were still in love with one another, who still kissed and hugged and whose faces lit up when the other entered the room. How can that be over?
John turns 4 tomorrow.
The lead-up to his birthday has usually marked the beginning of my 4 month long death-march, as the surgery that triggered Ian's complications and eventual death occurred just 11 days after John's first birthday (and coincidently, John's original due date, so 22nd February is a really solid date in my memory).
The first couple of years, the surgery date has been very significant, and was completely unexpected the first year.
In exactly one week, Friday, June 13th, it will be one month from the 3-year anniversary of my husband's sudden death. It feels different somehow to me this year, even though the actual day or month is not here yet. First of all, on the first two death anniversaries, I spent them both staying at my parent's house, with my family. We did a big dinner in his honor with all his favorite foods, and whoever could come to that came and it was nice. This year, I will be in San Diego, at Camp Widow, performing my comedic presentation for the 4th time. The day of his death just happens to fall on the Sunday that is the last day of camp. Although I'm not positive what it will be like to be there instead of with my family on that day, I'm guessing it will be a very good thing. After all, every single person there "gets it," and what better place to be if I'm going to have an epic breakdown of 54,000 emotions? And really, even though I won't technically be with my family on that day, I will be with my family. My other family. My widowed family.Read more