Saturday night 3/11:
It’s unnerving to know exactly where I was and what I was doing exactly three years ago (George always knew exactly where he was and what he was doing on 9/11/01). I don’t remember what I was doing a year or two years ago but three years ago I was sitting in the waiting room of the ICU at Tufts New England Medical Center while George was slipping away. I was alone – by choice. I had run out of the ability to speak or respond to simple conversation or do anything but try to stay present with what was going on with George. I created a small bubble in which I could try to breathe and exist. I was in survival mode, trying to stay on top of what was an unfathomable situation and one that I could feel tearing me apart. The love of my life was dying…there was no diagnosis and very little hope…and this made no sense at all.
I remember the waiting room. The hardness of the orange chairs. The location of the phone. The appearance of the ICU Fellow in his parka called in from home…I knew that this was not a good sign. And it was not.
I lived between that waiting room and George’s ICU space for another 40 hours, none of them good. Most of them now etched in my brain by the branding iron of trauma. I have mostly made peace with those memories and my feelings about them. Tonight they are being fueled by a simple date…
By way of explanation and for those who worry…
I no longer “need” to write as I did when I started this blog. It has been a three year battle of an interesting sort…and I am so grateful that my mind and heart and soul have mended…with a few scars…and in so many ways I am much stronger for the battle to recover and live fully.
So while I used to write because I could not contain the waves of feelings and pain, I now write deliberately. To illustrate that grief does not simply disappear. That triggers and anniversaries and memories and love are all forever, though the pain has lessened and the light is brighter than ever. To share my experience which is not uncommon. To connect. To acknowledge that George is in no way forgotten.
And to add that the next love of my life will have a relationship with an even better me than the me who was George’s incredibly grateful partner.