The Care Giver Experiences the Last Day of the First Year

This is the last day of the first year since Jackie’s death and I am amazed how my life has changed and how some few things have stayed the same. I’ve moved from the distant Maryland suburbs, from a sizable house to a lovely one bedroom apartment in an exciting part of Manhattan.. I am no longer a caregiver, no longer a homeowner, I don’t even own a car. This was all my intent.
 
To some degree it would have been easy and comforting to stay in Maryland to accept the role of care giver or remain as a grieving husband. There are groups for support, those were role I was used to but it was clear to me that keeping on those roles was not a life, it was a sentence in a prison of my own making.
 
Even before Jackie died, I was committed to doing what ever was possible to rebuild my life, to learn to live alone, to be a new person, to not let Jackie’s disease kill me also.
 
To some great extent I have succeeded.
 
Just as a person who loses a limb gets over the immediate great pain and learns to get along, to function, I have done that.
I go to the theatre, the movies, to talks, to galleries, I have even found someone to care for but the loss and the residual pain will always be with me.
 
As this date crept up on me, the sadness of the loss overwhelmed me also. I spent much of the last few days by myself, going through papers and pictures. I don’t want to feel good right now, I want to remember her as she was, as we were.
 
I am fortunate to have had the time with her I did. I am fortunate that she died so painlessly and never alone.
If our life and love had not been so good, I would not miss her so much.
 
On the left is a picture taken before we married and moved to SF.
The second is one of my favorites of her; she never thought she was attractive and usually turned away from the camera. I saw her as this beautiful for her entire life.

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