…No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” ― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Last April 14, Ellen and I flew to Chicago to visit family. The week before, she had come down with an annoying cough and generally felt lousy. When we got there, she continued to feel under the weather. As was the plan, after a few days, Ellen returned home and I went on to Florida to visit my mother. While I was there, she continued to feel sick and because her doctor was on vacation, she went to Marin General to seek treatment. No one could possibly have known what was in store two weeks hence.
It’s been a very weepy day for me and the next two weeks won’t be any better. The last days of April will no doubt be spent in self-flagellation and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose it’s cathartic on some level but it sure doesn’t feel like it as I write this through a veil of tears. The events of the ordinary workday matters very little in light of the pain and anguish I feel at my loss as I replay over and over in my head those dreadful days.
I will not forget; I cannot forget. I must not forget. I will always love you my dear Ellen!
I thought the quotation you used, Brian, says it all about death. One moves forward (as you are doing) because that’s what’s life is all about. And you certainly don’t forget the one you have lost but slowly, over time, the loss begins to be easier to bear. However, you always carry that loved one in your heart. This has been my experience, Brian, or rather experiences. So, I completely understand your tears and memories.
Take care of yourself.
My dear friend, Brian. Your post about Ellen was heart wrenching for anyone who knows you and what you went through those last few weeks. Death is so, so final, that none of us ever want to talk about it’s inevitability for ourselves or anyone we love. Even knowing that I have already lived three-quarters of my life, I remain in denial about the end. The old cliche, only time will heal, is true. Your memories of Ellen are indelibly locked in your memory for you to pull out those special moments and times when everything was beautiful and life was good.
I wish I were in China to give you the hug you need. Sending love. Joan