*From November 2013. I could not read the words then.
My life with Mike was like a Seurat painting. Like how when you look up close, all you can see are those weird dots and splotches of paint and nothing seems like anything, but when you step further away, you don’t see a mess. You see something complete and beautiful.
Here’s what you should know about Michael. He was smart. He was funny. He was handsome and tall and a talented artist and an even more talented builder, though he never saw himself that way.”
We talked. From the time I met him, we talked.We talked about loneliness. We talked about uncertainty. We talked about wanting more for ourselves. We talked about not knowing what we really wanted at all.We talked on Sunday about the trips we were going to take, where we would go and what we would see. Michel really liked taking road trips so he could smoke. I hated flying with him because the entire trip was planned around layovers so he could smoke. I liked the train but he didn’t because he wasn’t in charge, which was going to make a trip to Ireland a little pickety but he thought he could manage it.
We talked about Ben and Lisi’s baby and the crib he was starting on Monday.
Then we had dinner, walked the dogs and read in front of the fireplace. I am so glad that we didn’t watch television and that I didn’t have my head buried in my laptop. We went to bed and he finished W is for Wasted because the worse thing I could imagine was to die in the middle of the night and not know how my book ended.
Of course, that is really not the worst thing I could imagine. The worst thing was waking up when he stopped snoring and finding that he had passed away, one breath from the next. The worst thing is waking up to find him still warm. Warm and totally and finally, deathly still.
The worst thing is calling 911. The worst thing is that the police and EMTs and firetruck were here in two minutes and they could not make him alive again.
He was not sick. He was getting better from the horrible fall of 2009 and the miserable Year of Hospitals.
It was sudden and unexpected.
Were I to gift him with the perfect death, that would be what I would have picked.
Michael can’t be gone. I didn’t believe it then, and I almost still don’t believe it now.
But he’s gone. He is gone. He was sixty and he should have turned sixty-two and then seventy-three and then eighty-five, but he can’t, because he isn’t here any more and that kills every part of me, because it doesn’t seem fair that someone like that could just be gone. But he is. He’s been gone and he will be gone and it’s been one whole entire week and I am empty and he’s really gone.