Sunday, April 17, 2011

730 Days

Written on April 15, 2011

729 days and 22 hours ago…

we were dancing in his room.

We were drinking beer, watching American Idol

and eating.

I can’t remember what.

We were laughing together,

his sister, his best childhood friend, my friend and I.

And then one of us would look at him,

and cry.

I tried to forget all of that today.

I told myself that I will “ignore” tomorrow.

I had decided that I would ignore this anniversary.

The 730th day.

730 days since my life


became Jell-O under my feet,

since it ended up on a different life plane.

And those memories of the last hours of his life

can’t be stopped.

I tried eating my way into ignorance.

I tried drinking my way past them.

And yet, there they are,

those pointy edges,

those fragments of memory,

pricking me,

making me bleed tiny little droplets


as I bleed out,

in comes the physical response to the grief.

My spine aches,

my eyes feel prickly.

I feel fuzzy, unclear and surreal.

Just like I did 729 days ago.

I am filled with the same joy too. It was us, the four of us there, in our cocoon. The world stopped at the hospital door. Those three were there with me, we were there to help him leave this life. It was beautiful those last hours.

His leaving so black, so unknowing. Sarah McGloughlin reminding me to:

“Hold on.

Hold on to yourself.

This is gonna hurt like hell.”

I remember the nurse telling me that I wasn’t cooping well.

And I yelling at her, “I know I’m not cooping. My husband is dying! Now get him more morphine!”

I remember all of it

It pours into me.

There is no stopping it, no deciding to ignore it.

So I sit still

Let the tears come in their sporadic, unpredictable rhythm,

dropping down my cheek and onto my shirt.

I use my hands to swipe at them, smearing the wetness onto the back of my hands then onto my cheeks and then my pants or the bed duvet cover. Tissues …I can’t. Placing something clean and white under my eye to safely contain the grief feels absurd.

Grief is messy and wet and unpredictable.

I want these tears to represent all of it.

And then I want to cry not just to honor what has been lost,

but what




I can’t be one without the other.

730 days.

730 days.

730 days.

730 days.

To be followed by 731.


  1. It is 592 days or 1 year,7 months &15 days for me. I still can remember those days that lead up to "that" day and and every moment of that day. It is ingrained in my memory and heart for as long as I live. I too think about the details of that day at times and those feelings come right to the surface and tears stream down my face uncontrollably. Reading this post felt like I could have written it myself...Thank you....I'm not the only one that counts the day my world changed forever and the pain of losing my husband, the love of my life is not something that I think of only once in a while but every day since. It's mixed with 30 years of being a couple to that day 592 days ago.......

  2. It has been 809 days for me and I also remember that last day like it was only yesterday. I think back to what we were doing at certain times during that day. A normal day, until that night when our lives changed forever.

  3. it has almost been 365 for me. Lord, give me strength.

  4. This is a post everyone can relate to, I'm sure. I ruminated constantly on the events for about three months, couldn't stop it. I started writing in a journal, and that helped, also called the Doc for meds. Talking it through in grief therapy helped also, alot of emotion would come pouring out. It still comes back to me, but I try really hard to push it away. I really want to remember the happy/healthy times, which obviously I can't always control. It is a part of my morning prayers to ask to be set free from the grief, I don't want the pain anymore. Once again I'm sorry to hear about an A-hole medical professional (the nurse) making such an assinine comment about you not coping well. I wish these people would wake up to the pain they cause on top of the pain that is there. Hope we can all find our way. Blessings.

  5. It's been 187 days for me, and I'll never forget George's last night. As he lay unconscious in the hospital bed in the living room, his brother, his best friend, the male hospice nurse and I were all sitting around him watching "Dancing With the Stars", and our old female dog would come into the room intermittently to bark and howl, which was unusual behavior for her.

    Kim, your posts never fail to move me, I look forward to you on Sundays.

  6. 338 days.

    And it's hard to get that last evening out of my head as well. Sitting in a hospital room with Dave's mom, sister, and our son in the middle of the night, watching him take his last breath. How could this be happening? Before the diagnosis 6 months earlier, we were riding bikes, playing hockey, enjoying life. Then for six months I watched cancer consume his 45 year old beautiful body and snatch our lives away.

    And now, 338 days later, I am unable to fix our 20something year old son as he struggles with the loss of his dad. I get up alone each morning and hope that one morning I'll see the beauty in life again.

    What happened? I blinked and here I sit. Alone on a Sunday afternoon wondering what the hell happened?

  7. Kim, I too look forward to your posts. I too hit 730 days today, and I relived that last day in my memory, and the gift I was given that he died in my arms fully cognizant of what was happening. The second year was both more painful and more hopeful than the first, and I keep thinking, OK, here comes year three, but it starts with only one day. When I look back at how far I've come in 730 days, the possibilities (rather than the days) seem endless. I am a different me. Bolder, stronger, and also more vulnerable. As for my tears, I like this quote by Washington Irving: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.”

  8. Cantoruse, I love that quote....sacred tears. That's what they are. Thank you. Just lovely.

  9. 90 days today, I miss him so much.

  10. I think all of us here no the pain of remembering that fateful day! Today as I cried I thought what difference does this make, missing him! It doesn't bring him back! But it does confirm that they made a difference to you! I know that I will carry this grief forever, but it is up to me what I do with it. He would not want it to rule my life! so, keep trying!

  11. Dear 90 Days

    Hang in there (that said from another widow and not just some person who doesn't get it!) For most of us the first 180 days were hell! I remember counting every day. Not as a way to mark his passing but as a way of congratulating myself for getting through just one-more-day. Every morning I rose, looked at my bed and said "when I get back here, it will mean that I have gone another day through this grief. That is both a miracle and a triumph." The grief changes and in a way gets easier. I promise you. I really, really promise you.