February 24, 2003

The Letter

I don't know what else to do but write this out even though my hands are shaking and typing is difficult.

About a half hour ago I received the email. The one I'd been dreading.
It was from my friend Jeremy's colleague:

Pauline,

Jeremy was doing well (speaking and moving his right side) until last night at midnight when he suffered another intracerebral bleed. I spoke with his treating physicians at about 08:30 hrs. this morning and they were not very encouraging. It is with regret that I have to tell you that Jeremy died at about 14:30 hrs. today, London time. I have no other information at this time.

George


I don't know what to do or feel now.
I don't want to feel so bad.
There's no point to it.
He shut me out of his life so thoroughly that I won't be at any funeral or service. I probably won't even know whether he's buried here or in Austria.

Buried.

Or cremated.
I won't know that either.
There is nothing for me to do, no arrangements to make, not even for myself.

I will need to do some mental and emotional rearranging, that's for sure.
I haven't seen him in some ten years but not a day has gone by that I didn't think about him, worry about him, and feel that I had left a big part of me with him.
I know he felt the same about me. No matter how much we annoyed each other we always kept coming back for more.

The first thing I did after reading the email was get up and walk around my house.
Everything was the same.
Nothing had changed.
Dishes piled in the sink, piles of laundry lined up to go.
All my stuff exactly where I left it.
There was some comfort in that.

All that's going through my head is "Oh My God" while the survivor part of me is trying to figure out how I'm going to get through this.
Denial? No. Too big for denial.
Go on auto-pilot and zone out? Too late.
Focus on reality? That helps some.
Focus on myself, my life.
Nothing has changed.

I cried.
I didn't even cry when my father died.
I don't think it's that I loved my father less.
Of course I didn't.
It's that I lived through it with him.
I was there for all the months of his illness and I think that helped him.
We had achieved a loving peace and understanding. That was always there anyway but the few wrinkles we had, we smoothed out.
I also had to keep it together for the rest of the family.
No such need now.

So I'm crying as I write this. I guess it's therapeutic or something.
I just can't believe he's gone.



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