You didn’t make it to 60.
I’m still in shock that you’re gone, though it’s been 2 months. Poof. Gone from the world. Nothing left. No children, no pets, no written words, very few photos and none recent, no sounds of your warm and infectious laugh, no lingering smile or mischievous grin, no witty rejoinders, no affectionate nicknames (Lux, Researcher Ray, Engineer Ed, Biology Bob), no dance moves to the Cure, no late-night chats about our love lives, no birthday emails exchanged, no visits to catch up on all the minutiae of our lives, no more hockey matches or swim meets or guys to obsess over, no more love to spread across your sphere. But perhaps I’d lost you long ago, in 1999, when you married and moved to Maine.
The slow, not so slow, march to death. I can see why Carolyn Heilbrun chose to leave early, though she delayed her departure by almost a decade. Go before someone parks you some place and you have no power to leave. If Georg was smart he’d have a plan to to end it. If he cannot function without you, however, he probably doesn’t have the means. Hard to imagine being so utterly dependent on another person. Did you like having him so vulnerable, so needy? Did it give your life purpose?
As I’m working on my own sense of purpose I imagine that having someone so reliant could at least give you a reason to get up every day. Then the equation changes: one of the components is removed. So what happens with the remaining one? Kind of a dumb analogy. But there it is. I often wonder about my parents–who will fail first, how will the other one respond–and about me and Dave. Surely a clean exit without any entanglements would be best.
All the time runs out and then it’s over 10 years since your sister-in-law saw Georg, and she has no idea how to help him. The sister says he has Stockholm Syndrome. What about you? Were you abused? Did he hurt you? Why didn’t I reach out to you more often? More than once a year for our birthdays. And maybe I should have visited, tried to be involved in your lives. So much I don’t know–and will never know–about your relationship. I can barely understand my own.
I wonder what you’d hoped to do today…were you and Georg planning a party, a trip, a dinner out?
Cause of death: obesity hypoventilation syndrome.
You couldn’t breathe. Your heart gave out.