I wrote the following several months ago but never posted it. Thank the stars and the trees and the oceans, my grief has since passed… but not the deep love. It being Valentine’s day, I am compelled to share this now as a tribute to my Josh.
This Is Grief and Fear and Love
There is nothing I haven’t told you. I’ve told you my guilty secrets: like that I miss the days of chemotherapy, when I slept late, then lay on the couch while the other grown-ups did what had to be done for the children; the days of chemo when I could say no when I wanted to say no—I could say maybe or yes or even fuck off and get away with it.
I’ve told you what a pain in the ass it is to have one breast (and yes, devastating, too). A pain for me anyway, who doesn’t feel comfortable walking around that way, not unless I’m walking around you and even then, I hover an arm, a hand, a piece of sheet across my naked chest, even though you changed my bandages as tenderly as I’ve ever done anything in life, even though you looked before I was ready to look myself, even though I’ve studied and studied your face and you’ve never once winced.
I’ve told you how afraid I am, even though I know you’re afraid, too, terrified really, and part of me wants to protect you by not telling you anything. I don’t want to tell you about all the ways I could still die, even though you already know all about that.
I’ve told you what I want to be when I grow up and about the dream I had last night and about the terrible things I did as a child and a young adult and last week and about what’s for dinner and that I love you more than I ever thought possible and that my heart is your heart is my heart.