Friday, April 18, 2014

3 weeks, 3 months, 20 years

Everyone says the first year is the worst. That the first time you come up to each holiday, each birthday, each anniversary, each significant date without your beloved you die inside a little bit more, but are still stuck here, without them.

I don't know yet if this is true. I do know that this week in general and today in particular are very hard.

This past week was the first time I've not attended or held a Seder in many years. It was the first time in over a decade that Passover passed and I wasn't sharing it with Kevin. Had I been home without him I would have found a Seder somewhere, but it wouldn't have been the same. As it is, I was in New Jersey, helping my parents as my father had open heart surgery. I was where I was needed, but it means I didn't retell the story of escape from enslavement, of redemption, of hope, a story so important to both of us. It means I didn't fuss over dinner while he reminded me that I had already cooked enough. It means we didn't give each other secret glances all evening. It means so much and so much lost.

Today, Friday the 18th, marks three weeks since he died. And three months since he was diagnosed. He fought so hard. We fought so hard. Yet here we are, he is gone and I remain. I don't know what else to say about it but that I miss him with every molecule in my body. I don't know when I will stop crying. I don't know that I want to.

Today, April 18th, is also 20 years cancer-free for me. This year it only tastes bitter. I am still here, but the love of my life was stolen away. Sure, had I not survived all those years ago we wouldn't have had the time we did. I know that. I also know it doesn't help right now.

I know this is just part of the journey, or at least I know that's what I should know. But right now? Three weeks. Three months. Twenty years. My heart breaks more every day.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Small steps, large steps, steps where you thought there was a step and it's missing and you drop down much farther and more suddenly than you expected; Laura, I feel you are teaching me grief, a salty, bitter lesson. I realize that I need to write back just to say I'm Here. I'm Here. Sending love. Looking forward to seeing you at Northlands. Here. Love.

  2. Laura
    I wish I could just hold you in a hug and take away your pain! Again and again I love you

  3. Ah, the image of the two of you sharing glances really resonates with me, I can absolutely see that.

  4. Please keep telling this story; I am listening.

  5. We are blessed to have you and your profound words through this journey, you shine a light into some very dark corners and help others with their journeys!

  6. Passover commemorates an exodus or journey, right? This is your journey, which we can try to share with you - try to support you in the same way we would have supported Kevin had you been the one to leave. It's a journey some of us have been on ourselves, but all of us will likely experience at some point in our lives.
    I am so very sad Kevin, my beloved friend, is gone; I am so very grateful to him for letting me know and come to care for you.
    As Doria said, please keep telling this story...

  7. Thinking of you today, Laura, and wishing you comfort. Thank you for continuing to share your life and thoughts.

  8. The sand in the hour glass screams. The days crawl by. The days race by. The days limp by. The days are a blur. Looking out the window, seeing nothing. Not seeing Kevin. Seeing only an anniversary you didn't want to celebrate. Wishing the angel of death had looked just a little closer and noticed the love written in blood on the door and just passed you by. Just passed you by.

  9. Watched a film last night with a romantic ending and all I could think about was you and Kevin. It is just is so bewildering, so terribly cruel. I agree with our so eloquent friend, Tony. Grief puts us on another planet and it is impossible to understand and ferociously unacceptable that somehow this kind of loss should have to be endured.

  10. Well, that's the Good, the Bad and the Really Really FUgly right there. Is the universe really that ironic, or do we just look for these coincidences to try to make sense of things? I really don't know. The only sense that I can see is that you were spared so that you could spend the last 3 months with Kevin. Everyone should be so lucky, Laura. xo


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