Originally uploaded by takwaterloo
Well, it's another late night attempt to get my daily post in. I had a good day. Last nights sinking feeling has subsided for the most part. Today I'm feeling more peaceful.
Tonight I have thinking, or remembering, a lot about Michael's last week with me. He was no longer communicating throughout the day, but there were a couple of times that he somehow managed to communicate with me.
During that week I didn't really sleep. He was requiring a lot of medication, and comforting to feel safe. He had lost most of his ability to move his body, so I didn't want him waking up at night, opening his eyes, and thinking he was alone. So I either sat in a chair next to his hospital bed, or laid in the bed with him, holding his face in my hands. I would talk to him, mostly telling his how much I loved him, and that it was okay to leave me when he was ready.
Throughout the days he would stare into my eyes. If he tried to speak it usually didn't make any sense. So I would just try to comprehend what he might need to say, and respond with a similar frame of mind. I would carefully give him his medication, which wasn't easy, as he also couldn't really swallow correctly. And even though he was mostly silent, his eyes said it all.
What I saw in Michael's eyes was complete trust in me. He knew that I would take good care of him, and he seemed to track my every movement during the day. When I would get up to take care of something, his eyes would follow me. His eyes spoke his words of love. When I think about that time now, I see how beautiful it was. Yes, the moment he left, I felt like I was cut through the heart with an enormous sword. But up until that moment I focused only on loving him.
My choice to not sleep during that time wasn't just for Michael, it was for me. I knew he would be leaving me soon, and I didn't want to miss any single moment of our time together. On two occasions that week, late into the night, Michael opened his eyes, to find me sitting next to him on his bed. As if he had been perfectly well, he looked into my eyes, and said "I love you." It was the most precious gift he could have given me. It felt as though he had conserved all his energy for those single moments.
As I sit here thinking about this, I am filled with such peace in my heart. He gave me so much. Everyone who visited us during that week often commented on how much I was doing for Michael, but what they didn't see was how much he was continuing to do for me. He made those last days and hours a time of complete connection. I already knew that he loved me, and knew all that he would have wanted to say. As difficult as it was knowing that he was going to die, it gave us plenty of opportunity to say the things most people wish they have the opportunity to say. Our conversations about our love, about the people that he cared about, and what mattered most to him after he was gone, had all been completed prior to his losing his voice. I suppose this is something to be thankful for.
You know, it's been a while since I have felt comforted by my memories, but tonight I can say that I am. Maybe the word memories is not the best choice of word. What I feel when I think of Michael right now, is something that is in the present, yet tied to the past. Because he got to say all that he needed to say, and because I was able to do the same, I can hear those prior conversations in the present tense. I can play our conversations as if he were hear right now. This is something that I am connecting for the first time. Rather than feeling so lost tonight, this awareness is allowing me to experience his love in the present moment.
It is quite wonderful to experience this after feeling alone for so long. I feel like my whole being is awash with his love. Tonight I am feeling very fortunate. Michael was a very special person, with such a kind and loving soul. I was lucky to have him in my life, and I will carry him in my heart forever.