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13 juli 2006

Morbidity & Mortality

...assessing the past to learn from it

I should be asleep right now so that he can die.

This was the thought that entered my head approximately 30 minutes ago as I lay here unable to fall asleep. Time travels on a rail, like a clockwork train in my mind, with events popping up like stations along a seemingly circuitous route. Memories are mile-markers; I emote a landscape.

What I remember, how I remember, the fidelity with which I remember are all frictionless, an infinitude of momentum, arrantly effortless.

And what I remembered all day today in general, and 30 minutes ago in particular was the corporeal death of Allen Howland. I have written about him any number of times; those of you who knew him don't wonder why. Those of you who know me may worry that I remain bound to another lifetime. Those of you who have known us both, apart and together, would quell the worriers.

I remember these things, as I said, because I remember them, not because I've failed to forget.

He died when I finally fell asleep beside him in that huge bed of ours after more than two days of being non-responsive. He died when I wasn't paying attention after two days of paying so much attention that I not only forgot to eat, but I'd forgotten whether I had or not. He died, you see, some time between 12:05 and 12:55 on July 13, 1995.

But I've told you this already. The station, the marker, the landscape. All of it.

Only by now I've also got a map. No surprises, everything marked. Convenient and helpful and, perhaps most importantly, foldable and put-away-able.

So I put it away for another year, learning little except what's contained in the sad and small sweetness of the repetition.

Most men won't ever care about what I've learned and what I remember. And that's a loneliness not put-away-able.

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Posted by jeff at 13 juli 2006 0:40

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Comments

Sorry Jeff. I cnat imagine what you went through or what you are going through, but I am sorry.

Posted by: sam Barbose at 14 juli 2006 3:15

What a powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Posted by: mags at 14 juli 2006 9:35

Your posts often leave me pondering about things for hours. They reach that fine line where tears threaten to spill. Knowing that someone we loved lives on only in our own memory is as you said, a special kind of lonliness.

Posted by: Cooper at 14 juli 2006 22:19

Very sorry for your loss Jeff.

I've lost a partner too so I understand exactly how you feel.

My thoughts are with you.

Posted by: Scott at 15 juli 2006 3:14

Almost seems like you've got someone else - in addition to Allen - on your mind.

Posted by: Josh(ums) at 15 juli 2006 12:16

Life is but a moments flash. The trick is to catch it in the instant, embrace it, live it, let it go.

I can't begin to imagine your feelings as this comes about each year. Be strong!

Posted by: Tony at 15 juli 2006 14:37

Thank you for writing this. I've also struggled to put the past in perspective, though my sweetheart did not die, was "just" seriously ill for a very long time. It is, I think, harder for us to regain out footing and move on . . . in my case, my love was too ill to be aware and in your case, your love died. So there you are, there I am, trying to wrap it up and live with it. I admire your strength and I also think it's important to mark this loss in your life as you have ~ lynette

Posted by: lynette at 18 juli 2006 5:17

Thanks for sharing that very powerful and personal piece.

Posted by: Nick at 22 juli 2006 4:53

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