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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Longest Year © Claudia Schlottman


My recording of Grey’s Anatomy just finished, so the TV is turned off, and I am lying here staring at the ceiling fan telling myself not to cry.  It’s not working.  It’s miserably hot for May, and I cranked down the temperature on the air conditioner so I wouldn’t be too warm in The Red Sweater

I need the Red Sweater tonight, need to feel covered up with Clint, even sprinkled it with a fresh dose of Old Spice.  I need to smell him, touch his skin, feel his arms around me, his mouth on mine.  Soon it will have been a year since he died, and it has been the longest year of my life.  I will never smell, touch or kiss him again - not for as long as I live.  But I still want it, still weep for its loss, still burn in my gut with emptiness.

Friends exclaim, “I can’t believe it has been nearly a year!”

I respond, “You wouldn’t say that if it were your husband who died.”  

The nights have been longer, the days more tedious than one could imagine.  I still wake, in fact I did this morning, reaching for Clint and finding only Belle, my Boxer.  I wake with things to say to him, the need to touch him, but the bed still stretches on forever, barren and dry except for my dogs, my best friends, my little saviors who love me so much and who so unconditionally accept what I have to give them.  They are my little family, and without them, I cringe to think what kind of shape I would be in today.

Working has been the only thing that has made me feel better.  My preceptorship, while harrowing at times, was the best 4 weeks I’ve had in more than a few years.  Since I am still waiting on my regular job to open up, I signed on at our local Volunteer Clinic for patients who are working but don’t have health insurance.  That helps.

But when I get right down to it, I am facing  the heartbreaking milestone that will come with June 8 at 6:33 PM.  And it’s killing me, eating me alive knowing that on that day I will relive those last hours when, burning with fever, my one true love, faded and left this earth.  I still wish I could have gone with him.  

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