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The Best We Had To Offer Her


Three months today.

Three months ago today I held her face in my hands and watched her take her last breath. I felt her life drain away over the course of four years, but the final drops were the most painful. She literally expired in my hands, with my face less than a foot from hers. I felt her body cool after her last breath, and I felt the world I believed in collapse around me. The bricks and mortar of everything I knew fell through my soul and are still falling somewhere far away.

She suffered as few human beings before her suffered, but she did it with such strength and grace that you would think this is how it was supposed to be.

You would be very, very wrong.

Her death, while toxic to me on so many levels, was God setting the world aright again.  The world did not gain by her wholesome unneeded suffering. Hers was a meaningless pain magnified by far reaching but eternally flawed medical science.

Her suffering would not have been possible even a century before, but there we were. I witnessed a deep irreversible agony caused by a disease we cannot defeat prolonged by medicines we put our last hopes in.

It was brutal. It was barbaric. It was the best we had to offer her.

Now I am the one alone. I am given titles such as “surviving partner”, “widower”, “beneficiary”.

The titles are hollow. They describe what I am to people unattached to my life.

The truth is that I am a man with no titles and fewer purposes.

Being a widower at my age is like changing the batteries in a clock, I have sudden new energy, but I have no idea what time it is.

I do not know who I am.

Of course I’ve grieved before, but this is weaponized grief, designed to destroy life from its inception, intended for indiscriminate decimation. The blast wave is death itself; the aftershocks are reliving that death at times and in places where life is supposed to be re-growing. Nature is denied its healing powers; there is no season in this soul that regenerates itself as it was before the blast.  And the blast echoes back upon itself, over and over again, and it serves as the only appropriate soundtrack to this existence.

The color of fog is brilliant compared to my lack of feelings. Tears dry as soon as they are born in my eyes. They do not fall to my cheeks and the world never sees them, but they are always there.

But, where is there?



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