Saturday, September 1, 2012

A year, a month, two weeks later...

(Newkie enjoying the warmth of the sun)

A few years ago a man and his wife moved down the street. He took walks, spent time pruning his trees, spoke to anyone who walked by. She never came out of her house. What we knew of her was through the stories the husband told us.

They had lost a grown daughter to cancer a few years back, the husband began. The woman was depressed, hardly left the house, and now, three years later, and three houses later, things had not changed. Will she see a therapist, I asked. No. She won't talk to anybody. She is inconsolable!

The couple moved a year later, to another house, another attempt to put her loss behind.

I knew what it felt like to lose a parent; I knew that at times, thinking about my parents caused me great distress. After I retired and began to write my memoir, the loss of my parents weighed heavily in those reminiscences, and I cried for days while writing one simple chapter.

After we lost Brian I kept reminding myself to stay sane; to look forward to remembering all that he was, all the lovely memories we had of him, and not to drown in sorrow. I did not want to become the woman in that house, a shadow in her own life.

We have been consciously searching for new things to do-albeit the fact that Hubby's health was compromised and he was in and out of hospitals for months. We planned a garden renewal; a living room upgrade; a new class in fiddle playing. We tried to stay active, took our regular walks, attended regular meetings.

Yet, each week, and each month we marked the date and day of his death. Sunday mornings will never return to being leisure days for us. Sundays are days of mourning. It was a Sunday morning when Brian was carried to a friend's house after he was hit in the head by an angry young man, after he fell and lost consciousness, and he was put to bed by his friends, who thought that because they heard him snore he must be o.k.

I think of how all who knew him must still feel.

There isn't a day when my husband and I don't talk about him.
There isn't a movie or a book, or a television program when I don't see something/someone that reminds me of him.  When I heard Paul Ryan speak on television, there was something of Brian in that pose, that smile, that resolve. (I happen not to agree with Ryan's politics!)

I was looking forward to more grandchildren.
I was looking forward to many more visits and conversations.
I was looking forward.

Some events mark us for a while.
Some change us forever.


  1. There are no words, Rosaria. You express yourself so beautifully, so vulnerably...thank you for the gift.

  2. I think it is so important to talk about people that you have lost no matter how or when. As an only child I am the only one remaining from my side of the family. Both my parents were also only children so no aunts or uncles. I talk all the time about my parents and even more about my brother. I often feel like they are in the room with me daft as it may seem. Life though must go on even is in a slightly different way.
    Take care and have a good week. Diane

  3. I see the connection you saw in Paul Ryan. :)

  4. Dear Rosaria....this is one of the most heartfelt, heart wrenching posts I have ever read. My heart is so heavy for you and your husband after reading this. I wish that I could be closer to give a hug or two or to just sit and talk awhile and share a pot of tea and an afternoon, actually many afternoons so that maybe in some small way I could be there for you to make things a little better. You have a way of opening up and you make yourself so vulnerable by sharing your sadness...I have shed a few tears while reading and I have said a special prayer for you and for your son.