Thursday, January 14, 2016


I keep putting off the wedding story.  I keep finding other stories instead.  And it's okay, but I think it's like New Year's Eve.  I think Leslie's life was in 2015 and so I was reluctant for 2015 to end even though she died then too because she wouldn't be in 2016.  So maybe I'm reluctant to keep writing about Leslie's life because I already know the ending.  Like a really good book that you love reading so much that you're sad when it ends even when it ends happily...and each story I tell about her gets me close to that ending.  And it doesn't end happily.  Or if it does, it ends in the happy sad way that a life well lived always ends.  Bittersweet...what a nice way to live a life...any ending seems too soon.

But there are things I want to say...need to say...about watching someone you love pass.  About things that we said to each other and to our children.  Some things I know I've already said.  Some things I can't remember if I've said.  Some things...when I think about chest tightens and I feel like I can't breathe.  Those are the hard things.

But they'll get said.


I took my wedding ring to the jeweler today.  I tried moving my wedding ring to the ring finger of my right hand.  It fits.  Snugly.  Too snugly.  After a couple days I started getting worried and pried it...with the aid of some soap off my knuckle.  So then I moved it to my pinky.  And every so often, when I wasn't really thinking about it...I'd make a sudden gesture and the ring would fly off my finger, rolling to a stop....somewhere.  And when I found it I'd be all panicked because I'd almost lost it.  And so I decided to have it resized for my right finger, which, apparently, is about 1/2 a ring size bigger than my left ring finger. 

I was putting THAT off too.  Like everything in this step closer to absolute.  Her clothes still hang in her closet.  Her dresser is still filled.  Her night stand is more or less untouched.  I'll get to it...tomorrow.  So today when I picked up my shrimp pad thai I stopped off at the jeweler and walked in and handed over my wedding ring to have them resize it for my other hand.  I walked out of the store without it.  My hand feels naked and exposed and wrong.  That ring hasn't been off my finger for 16 years.

And again, like New Year's Eve, I was really feeling like there'd be this 'change' like when Frodo takes off the One Ring...invisible to visible.  But there wasn't.  It was fine.  More dread than anything.  And that was a relief.  But also made me feel sad.  Like letting go of it was easier than it should have been.

Still fighting that feeling that in order to go on living I need to suffer to grieve 'properly' instead of just thinking about her and being sad and sort of...homesick for her.

Hey, if you really want to cry...I was writing this from the treadmill and no lie, Jamie Lawson's song, "Wasn't Expecting That" came on.  Listen to it.  It's beautiful.  But a punch in the gut.  My friend Bec once begged me not to listen to it and I kept pretending to misunderstand her and agreeing that yes...I would listen immediately.  And then the kicker came and I was like..."WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LISTEN TO THAT???" for comedic effect.  I think she probably really liked that a lot.  Anyway.  Made me cry.  But she warned me.


  1. Oh, son has been gone four years now, and his stuff is still sitting in bags everywhere -- just where we left it when we carried it home from the house he was living in when he took his life. Every single time I try opening it up and going through it I end up closing it and sobbing. Even now...after all this time. Please know I'm not trying to compare his death to your wife's. I'm just saying everybody is different. I'm praying for you.

    1. yeah. It's hard isn't it. When "cleaning up" starts to seem like "ending" or "moving on" instead of just cleaning up or organizing. God...Leslie would be beside, Jim, I can't be the only one who cleans this house!

  2. It is the hardest part of life to look at the road ahead, knowing it is the one way, but realize you don't have the strength to take that step. I often wondered why God made the Earth a constantly changing process, then put it in our natures to want everything to stay the same. Was it to teach us trust? Was it to show us how to let go of that which we thought we had? Seems like a cruel torture.

    I had lost three babies in the course of a single year when I became pregnant with my son, Liam, who has autism. I had already convinced myself I would lose him because the other three died. Why should he live too? Only, he did live. Liam became my greatest teacher, and the reason I am where I am now in my PhD studies (graduation set for August, God willing.) Had I not lost the other three, I would have taken Liam for granted. Instead, I discovered how much a gift he was. When he was diagnosed with autism, that didn't change. I committed to him more. I never had another miscarriage again, even though I had three other children after Liam.

    This year, my daughter had three miscarriages. It was the toughest thing for a mother to witness. However, if I hadn't endured those three miscarriage myself, I would not have been much comfort to her. If Liam hadn't come after all those miscarriages, I would have nothing to offer my daughter in the way of hope for tomorrow.

    Sometimes, when you're standing in the middle of the road, it is really hard to see the good things that are just around the bend. That's when faith is everything.