Thursday, June 22, 2017

Different Intensities of Knowing Gregory is Dead

This post was motivated by today's work on editing my memoirs, through my blog posts. I arrived at October 4, 2015 and today's editing dealt with his death. Of course I cried as I worked through to October 15 and then stopped for breakfast.

An aside is that as I was editing the memoirs through November and December, I was looking for evidence of Gregory's failing or changes in him that might have foretold of his passing. But there were none.

I find that kind of amazing because in thinking back, I think I saw some changes in energy, availability, his taking more time to recognize my arrival, more time spent napping, and difficulties swallowing at mealtime but I never wrote about them.

Back to the topic of the post. Knowing Gregory is dead takes many forms. Not necessarily in order of importance:

Todays was seeing his name associated with  "Today my love died."

Reading his obituary when it appeared in the Tribune, the Sun Times, and the Windy City TImes (Gay newspaper.)

Seeing the death certificate.

Filling out and signing all the paperwork for his cremation.

Canceling various accounts in his name.

Picturing him in his bed in his room at Lieberman and knowing that the life had left his body.

Dreaming about him, waking up, and remembering that he is dead.

Admiring the plaque on the memorial wall outside the Synagogue Room at Lieberman.

Looking at his portrait on the shelf next to his remains and flashing back to arriving at his room at Lieberman on the day he died.

Hearing someone tell of his death as well as me telling someone of his death.

Rewatching the documentary: ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story.

Talking about our journey with Alzheimer's at various presentations I have made and getting to the part where after being in a coma for three days, he gave me one last kiss before he died.

Knowing that he was going to die but getting the call from Manny.

Having been on the Alzheimer's path for so long, and changing myself as Gregory changed, I knew intellectually but refused to know emotionally that he would ever really die.

Celebrating without him, the various holidays like Valentine's Day (the most difficult it turns out,) Christmas, Halloween, Birthdays, Anniversaries.

With great love comes great grief, they go hand in hand. But it does get easier and I have done a good job learning to live without Gregory's physicality but still having him be a large part of my every day life!

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