Thursday, May 29, 2014

69 days

Kevin lived 69 days from his diagnosis. Today it is 69 days since he died. Yesterday was two months to the date. Tomorrow is nine weeks.

I've been told over and over again that grief is a roller-coaster and that certainly is a good metaphor for my experience. I have glimmers of ease. Not peace, not happiness, not anything but the suggestion that someday this pain will ease. And then I plummet again. I fall deep into that place where my very body hurts from the emptiness and rage and sorrow.

At 69 days a human fetus is not yet a bump.

I know each day must be taken on its own terms, that I cannot and must not rush this process. I know that the very volume of my grief speaks to the depth of my love.

A baby who is 69 days old is likely smiling.

I look back on those 69 days with something akin to awe. I have never been closer with another human being than I was with Kevin during that time. Our connection and need for one another became more and more central until, in the end, it was all that mattered. I have never been as focused as I was during those days, making sure he got the best care, the proper attention, the alone time and the distraction that he needed.

Now I find I am in a void. While I am coming to believe he and I are still connected, it is not what it was. It can't be, though I believe with time it will become something vital in its own right. For now though, I ride the roller-coaster up to a moment when I can breath, then back down to where I am nothing more than a flayed skin. I never knew I could feel so sad, so empty. I never knew I could continue, even in this state.

69 days is a lifetime.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. 69 Days. 69 Ways. 69 Sighs. 69 Tears. 69 Screams. 69 Dreams. 69 Wishes. And not one of them came true.

  2. As you ride the roller-coaster Laura, you may not know or even care that you are helping people. But you are. You are modeling how to ride the roller-coaster called GRIEF. Many who must take the ride after you are observing how to hold on, be in the moment, brace yourself, swallow the nausea and once in a while, open your eyes and see the vast world beyond. While it doesn't seem like an important contribution right now, it is important. And you are important too. Never underestimate how special you are right now.

  3. I can't imagine. I'm in a different void, and I know being in a void is awful, so I'm not going to say I understand, because I don't. I'm sorry, though.

  4. My love, thoughts, and prayers I send your way.

    I can tell you that there will come a time when you will remember more with joy than with pain, but grief is like the ocean -- the waves roll over you and over you. And you are like the sea glass -- eventually the sharp edges are smoothed and there is nothing left but beauty and a different way to view the light. --Kim


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