Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beginning of the March...

This month begins the "death march". That annual walk down memory lane that takes me from the last family trip we took when he was feeling somewhat healthy, to the 3rd diagnosis, to M.D. Anderson, to a brother's graduation, to a stressful birthday in the ER, to a series of specialists, to yet another hospital, and finally to a cemetery on a beautiful hilltop in the country.

From September to November each year, each day has a meaning for me. Each day in this time period 5 years ago brought something new, not always bad, but some new challenge for us, some new emotion, new thought, new fear, new reality. I can't describe how it all felt, but each year I feel it again. Less intense than the year before, but it's there anyway. Each day between now and the first week in November has a specific memory associated with it. All of it leading up to the end. It's beautiful and terrible, and it sucks. But, like all things on this path, this will not go away. There is no way out but through. I'm putting on my waders and trudging on.


  1. It's true, what you say "this will not go away." I have not heard of the term "death march" before. I guess that's what I am trudging through right now too. My husband was diagnosed with a tumor on his kidney on Sept. 15, last year. On the 29th, his 36th birthday he had surgery to remove the kidney. On October 18th, he passed away from kidney cancer. Tomorrow will be the first birthday without him here. "There is no way out but through." And, so we trudge forward, wanting it to be November. Thanks for sharing; very well worded, my thoughts exactly.
    Jenn W.

  2. Oh God. Please don't tell me this is what I have to look forward to! One week from tomorrow is the 14th anniversary of our 1st date. 2 weeks from tomorrow is his 57th birthday. One year ago today we were on our honeymoon in Europe. Holy crap. This is no fun.

  3. Your term "death march" is perfect. I go through a similar process in the spring, my husband passed away in May of 2009. Maybe now I can explain to people why my grief isn't confined to just the 'big' days...birthdays, wedding anniversary, angel date, holidays, etc. Thanks so much for sharing. Jennifer

  4. Yes, I can also relate to this posting. On October 4th I begin my 5 month death march. October 4 last year, Dave was told his cancer was terminal. We had 5 months of alternative and traditional treatments, a benefit, our birthdays, our engagement anniversary, Christmas, New Years, our first date anniversary and our wedding. It was all overshadowed by his steady decline to his death in February. I remember every day. It is like a haunting.