Kirby passed away on November 14th, 2009 at 9am. I was blessed with being with him as he left. His last hours were spent in excruciating pain from the cancer, but I am forever thankful that they were hours and not days. On the one hand, having him pass at home was a blessing as I had the honor of holding him as he left and he was in his own surroundings without IV's, monitors and 'the hospital'. On the other hand, it was the most painful experience I will ever have had to live through - to have the one you love in such dire pain and not being able to do anything about it. But I do take solace in the fact that he's not in pain anymore.
My mother passed exactly 1 week later almost to the hour. She left us on November 21st at 9:20am. How's that for timing? Her passing did not affect me near as much as she was 92 years old and had lived a nice long life. However, when it is my turn to go, I will have to ask her about her impeccable timing.
I went back to work on the 7th. I spent the majority of my bereavement time off clearing out my mom's mobile. And thank God for my friends! They spent a few days of their own time helping me deal with all of that. In between cleaning days, I ran back and forth to the mortuary. With 2 deaths one after the other, I became quite intimately familiar with the place and the guy who made the arrangements for both. I hope to never see him again unless it's in public somewhere. The one thing that I'm happy I did was to have some of Kirby's ashes put into a small jewelry pendant. It's very comforting to have him with me.
Because of the time spent dealing with my mom's mobile leading up to almost the day I had to go back to work, I haven't had much time to grieve for Kirby. I'm doing OK as long as I stay busy, but those quiet moments are especially rough. My routine is pretty much intact except for that one huge piece - him being here. Because he's not here, I find that I can't even do the simplest things easily. I feel confused and unsure of myself most of the time when I'm alone. I'm still very much unsettled. I can hardly watch TV as they're showing previews to movies that he had wanted to see.
I've made small changes - I've managed to arrange the area that his ashes are displayed. I've set up the flag and put Jose's ashes next to him (his beloved dog.) I have a candle burning next to him when I'm home. Most of his big power tools have been put into the shed to store until I decide what to do with them. But his clothes and things he'd left on his nightstand and end table are still there. His van is still parked in the same spot in front of the house - unmoved. I can't even bring myself to move it into the driveway. He was the only one that ever drove the van - I never once got into the driver's seat and I can't bring myself to do that yet because I'd have to adjust the seat and it would be like a little part of him would be gone once I did that.
So I kind of veered from telling his story into telling my own, didn't I? But all of the medical info and dr. appointments that took place leading up to his death seems quite pointless in the telling. He died from melanoma within 4 1/2 months of his diagnosis. Any more than that seems trivial at this point. Now it's a matter of learning how to live my life without him in it and without being resentful that we didn't turn out to be one of those couples that lived together to a ripe old age. And also figuring out how to avoid those stupid eHarmony commericals...
Good bye Sweetheart. I shall forever miss you.