by | Jul 3, 2012 | 2 comments


I open up a hard drive to look through photographs from the past two years.  I am hoping to find beauty and proof that I’ve survived.

Instead I wind up playing some of the music you left behind- mp3s I copied from your computer/studio.  What a wonderful thing to leave behind after you are gone, I think.  What will I leave behind? The most beautiful piano and cello tracks…two songs that I’d written that I’d never heard your instrumentals for.  I play them.  Piano keys as if you’re in the room…our daughter’s voice softly in the background “reading” books aloud because she can’t go to sleep…a dim kitchen, ticking clock…my typing.  Hearing your music is like hearing your voice.  It is you. I can close my eyes and pretend you might be playing beside me, how you did for so many years.  Wasn’t I lucky- I am always thinking now.

I begin to think lately that one cannot go on living as a broken piece of another life.  Better to start out as a smaller piece of something totally new.  The continuity for me- has never come.  Instead, now as the day approaches- it just washes over me nightly- my old life.  I feel it and taste it and hear it.  I ache for it.  But it is now further than ever- completely out of my grasp.  Part of the pain of those first few hours and days- at least for me- was that I already foresaw this time in existence.  I already knew the separation that would happen.  Two years- sounded so long when I met others who were this “far out.” I hoped that they were in some very different place and looked for evidence as such- were they remarried, did they have a different life entirely.  But now I see you aren’t a veteran at two years- far from it- you’re still in camouflage, still knee deep in swampy waters- but you just don’t recall as acutely or as often the old life because this is all you’ve known now for quite some time.  This is what you feared and knew already- that first hour- would happen- when you’d only spoken to him- yesterday.  When his, “hey, it’s me,” was still fresh.  When he wasn’t someone you’d had to introduce to every new person as “My husband passed away.”  When you spoke his name often- to him and to others.  When you still had things you were angry with him about- things unfinished- trips you said you would take, places he wanted to take you, children to be born.

Today, tonight- this is the time you foresaw – in this time spiral of light-years and lives.  It is here.  It is not satisfying.  It is awful.


July 3, 2012


  1. megan

    I knew that time would come too, I dreaded it and was pre-emptively so angry about. Someone told me the DAY it happened "it will get better." I snapped – better because it is further away the time when he was here? That is not better.
    So disgusting, in many ways, that things continue on, as though the beautiful and real life can just fade, and the ordinary rushes in and makes itself at home. It is awful.
    Thinking of you this week my friend, in your death march count-down.

  2. Anne D

    Megan's comment immediately brought to mind Auden's poem "Musée des Beaux Arts," especially these passages:

    About suffering they were never wrong,
    The old Masters: how well they understood
    Its human position: how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along…

    In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
    Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
    Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
    But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
    As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
    Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
    Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
    Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.


    I say a prayer for all of you who have lost so much and must live with the outrage of life going heedlessly on.


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