I have to wonder: What kind of clock does the emotional brain have? What could it possibly matter if it’s been 365 days since a trauma, or 219, or 457? There’s no calendar in the land of pure emotion; just color and sound and touch.

And yet as I get closer to the anniversary of Jonathan’s death, I find I’m reliving – with remarkable detail – certain elements of the event. I was driving on a night highway yesterday, thinking about just how badly my hands shook AFTER I called 911, but not WHILE I called 911. That’s odd, isn’t it? It’s not like the adrenaline dump happened after I switched off the snowblower, idling beside him at the shed door, so I could hear the operator. And yet – no shaking until after she answered. I guess that’s when I had to say it out loud and it became real.

Or how hot and dry his hand felt when I slipped my hand under his at the hospital, to no response. Or how he did the “chain” breathing (Cheyne?) – a gasping, three- or four-part inhale followed by a continual exhale, which is apparently the sign of a body slowly shutting down. Or how Rusty decided he didn’t want to stay for the dying and went home and I opted to be with Jonathan during his dying instead of with my son during his father’s dying. Or how my sister Twig refused to leave my side for the 24 hours it took, and how much that still means to me, crying as I type.

Jonathan died on the 29th, and was then revived at the hospital, to certain brain damage. I made the choice to pull life support (which he most certainly would have chosen himself, and did through an advanced directive, still in my fire safe at this moment for reasons that must speak to lingering guilt), and he died for the final time on the 30th.

Today is the 27th. I don’t know; maybe it’s the quality or angle of the light in the garden. Something is causing echoes. I think I’m fine and then I’m smacked by a memory. I think I’m getting over being so mad at him for dying and then I’m every bit as furious as when I found him and said “Oh, you son of a bitch – you did it. You managed to kill yourself.”

It’s not a very cheery or readable subject matter for a would-be entertaining blog on trying to get fit – and so I think I’ll be blog-silent for a bit more. Back in a week or so!

6 thoughts on “Echoes

  1. I don’t have anything useful to say other than I read this. I understood to the extent I can. I love you. I’m here. You’re in my heart.


  2. This made me cry. I can only imagine what you are going through by trying to extrapolate from the idea of losing my sweetie. Please don’t stop writing. I can’t make it better, we don’t know each other in person. But I can “listen” through my eyes and I can tell you that my heart is with you. And if we were friends I would do those things, too: listen and tell you that my heart is with you.


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