Monday, September 12, 2011
I remember this night well.
Reassuring him of my love.
Making sure he was not in pain.
Telling him how much I loved him.
Not allowing myself to sleep.
Not allowing myself to turn my focus off him for one second.
Knowing it was a matter of hours.
It went this way throughout the night. Remy laid there next to me. Michael to my right, Remy holding on to me to my left. 3am arrived, and it was announced by Michael significant change in breathing. It was so strong that Remy woke from his sleep, and was crying in fear. I told him to go sleep with his sister. I went to awake Michael's mother. I told her the time was coming soon.
Barbara and I cradled him between us. She laying at his side. I holding his face in my hands. For hours, I sat there staring into his face. This went on for another few hours. 6am arrived with another undeniable change in his breathing. I woke Barbara up, and told her he would be leaving us soon. We held him tight. I told him that we would be fine, and again told him that I loved him over and over again.
6:05 am, those last breaths arrived, I pressed my mouth to his. I wasn't going to allow those last breaths of his air to float into the air around me. What if his soul left his body through his breath? This was the last piece of Michael, his spirit, to be present with me in this world.
My mouth to his. His final breath arrived. With a deep breath in, his last breath entered my body. I didn't breath for that moment. I wanted each of those molecules to find a permanent resting place within me. Once I felt sure of this, I breathed for the two of us for the first time.
I was alone. He was gone.
Somehow I ended upstairs on the kitchen floor, and the world, all matter and space came crashing down. The walls shook, and the animal within me howled. I awoke the whole household. My kids came running toward me, and we all laid there on the floor together, without him.
Somehow there is beauty in all this pain. I don't want to ever forget those moments. I know that are only but a few brief moments in the life that I have lived thus far, but they are moments that define my existence today.
I lived a life for so long into my adulthood not knowing that which I was missing out on. Then I met Michael, and I knew that my life would never be the same.
I knew love. I knew the power of love. I knew the honor of loving a man with passion and desire. I knew the honor of caring for a man who needed me, and fighting with all my might to keep him alive. I knew the honor of keeping a man focused on the joy of life in the midst of hardship. And I knew the honor of walking with a man toward his death, with peace, love and dignity.
I bathed him. I dressed him. I held him. And, waited.
Today many of you honored me with your presence and support. I love you all dearly for that. Michael loves you all dearly for that. I know in my heart that he doesn't want to ever think of me as being completely alone. Each of you carry out his desire to be there for me.
I thank you. He thanks you.