Tuesday, May 23, 2006


As many of you know from other sources, Lisa died 3 weeks ago, very early in the morning of May 2. She was never in pain, and died peacefully in her sleep, with me, her two sisters, and the cats and dog keeping watch. Although it wasn't entirely unexpected - she had been going downhill physically for about a month - I don't think anyone expected her death to come so quickly. (In fact, her oncologist, who had told her that Friday that he didn't think there was much more he could do, also said, "we'll talk some more next week.") Lisa had always said that she intended to fight as long as there was the slightest chance of beating the cancer, and it seems as though it was mostly willpower that kept her going. Not that I fully realized it, strong and positive as she always was! Once she was told there wasn't any real chance, she allowed herself to let go - and, being Lisa, wasn't about to hang around and prolong things.

Our friends have been incredibly kind through all of this, and their presence, the week she died and at the memorial service and just being there afterwards - I can't thank you enough for everything. You know who you are.

The hardest thing has been trying to remember not to say "we." For 27 years, I've been part of a couple, quite happily so. I've thought in terms of both of us - our house, our plans, our dog, our writing, our life together - and now I have to start remembering that there is only me. "We" didn't have 3 inches of water in the cellar during the recent flooding, I did. "We" aren't selling Lisa's car, I am. And yet that's the word that still comes to the tip of my tongue. It hurts me when I realize what I've done, and I see our friends wince when they hear me and remember: such a hard thing.

I know it does get, if not better then at least easier, or so I'm told by other widowed people who've been coping longer. But it is hard now.