August is hard George said in August – the year we first reconnected. It’s the lead up to 9/11 that’s hard – harder than the actual day he explained. George’s brother John was killed on 9/11 – in what George also thought might have been the final blow of his own life. Losing John so suddenly, horrifically and traumatically brought George to his knees – and then some. He was not sure he would really survive…he tried to explain that early on too – but there were not the right words…

It’s the lead up to the anniversary of 9/11 George said.

I listened carefully – caringly. I did not fully understand, but I was learning…The next August I understood…

In the past few days I have suddenly been blindsided with vivid memories of George…

Usually, now, when I think of George, the accompanying feeling is positive – happy, amused, grateful. This past week, I am fighting back tears as I think of George. Feeling his presence – and feeling the loss – again…

It took me a bit to realize it’s the lead up…the lead up to the third anniversary of George’s death…

I am trying to accept that this countdown is inevitable – and to experience it with grace…though I have been more grateful to have stopped counting…stopped counting the months at least…

In two weeks it will be three years since George and I last went to Nantucket. In 17 days it will be three years since George was diagnosed with the flu and spent his last night at home. In 18 days it will be three years since George ended up on artificial life support…and in 20 days it will be three years since we disconnected George from this artificial life support…This sequence is burned into my memory…

I hope that my experience mirrors George’s…that it’s the lead up that’s harder…

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