I remember sitting in the bathtub, maybe a week or so after Bill died, feeling as if I was holding my breath, but without the ability to release with an exhale afterward.
Like panic when we are under water and don’t know if we can hold it in another second, but find we are capable when the option is this, or death.
Waiting and hoping for time to fly by until the calendar mark of one year. One year was a date far enough away in which I felt I would have “arrived” to the other side of intensity.
Time sometimes takes much longer than we anticipate.
A good thing really, because if I had known then what I know now, I might not have made it this far.
One year, turns into two. Tomorrow.
I remember that day, like one remembers where they were and what they were doing on September 11th, 2001.
I remember looking to the clock for some reason, as if it would tell me something that I didn’t know, or perhaps by doing so, I would turn and see him alive again.
4:29am illuminated in the darkness.
He went in an instant.
Actually two breaths, and then gone.
The death certificate says 6:40am. But that is because it took the hospice nurse that long to arrive on the scene.
I remember the hospice nurse earlier in the day say he is already gone. His spirit that is.
I hope so, looking down from above, watching as one does when he has a near-death experience and comes back to talk about it.
The idea of him pain-free at that moment gives me comfort.
I don’t know.
I remember some things with such clarity from days before, like the dresser that was pushed to the other side of the room, to make room for the hospital bed. It was in front of the window, on a slight angle, bothering me, but not enough to move it the two inches to make it even.
I remember I’d make the bed every morning, as if by keeping routine, maybe we would turn the clock backward to before cancer arrived.
Or maybe it was just the sense of normalcy that calmed me.
I remember watching him, days before, reaching out for something, or someone, wondering if he will awake from this slumber, or will this be the time when he will permanently lose consciousness.
I remember holding him tightly, refusing to let him go. Even though he was already gone.
I remember them taking him away.
I remember a brief conversation I documented, as if knowing then I would need it to carry me through, like a lifeline:
“Is it bad that I want it over soon?” He asks.
“You know where you are going, right?”
“What do you see?” I ask.
“I see hope.”