|Rob at home before we knew he was so sick.|
|Rob before a 7-hour VAT Surgery, end of Aug. 2015|
|Rob using oxygen at home in Sept. 2015|
|Rob in October 2015, right before chemo treatment|
|Rob in the hospital after surgery in Nov. 2015|
|Rob at home in late December 2015|
|Rob in ICU in January 2016|
|Rob in Palliative Care in February 2016|
|Rob at home a few days before he died, March 2016|
I was obsessed with framing him, as if the click of a shutter might somehow preserve the most animated man I have ever known. Now when I find courage to look at some of these images, I feel profound sadness and loss. The man captured barely resembles my husband. I had forgotten so much of those days and for the first time my love for Rob is less selfish and though I miss him more than breathing, I would not want him back given his agonizing death. No one should ever have to relive such misery. In his passing--I want to believe that he achieved both solace and peace.
|Rob holding our new dog , Max--years ago|
Five months have past and I still find myself thinking how unreal all of this last year has been. Shock is no simple matter. Shock is more like Bach's permutation fugue. No exposition, just a collection of thematic fragments that occur and at times, reoccur.
I find myself wondering, still:
How could my husband have died? What happened to spring? How could the world have lost such a fine, fine man? Is the summer light brighter than in previous years? Where did he go? How can Dev and I be making new memories without Rob? Are birds carriers of the spirit of the dead? Where is heaven? Is Rob living in a parallel universe? Does he exist at the edge of where my fingers grasp--just out of reach? How do I live as Rob directed? What does it mean to live brilliantly? How could he leave me? How could he not? How will Devon fare?And so on.
Meaning gives dimension to sorrow--allows us to know it's size and shape. But with Rob's death, there is no meaning, no given dimension, no box to contain sorrow that grows as if it has only known spring. Grief is boundless, subdued now and then by love.