|What I Meant To Say (M.A. Reilly, 5.1.2017)|
Dying is such hard work, as is bearing witness and living afterwards. Before Rob's death living was not a burden, was not work.
In the weeks before death, Rob became less and less earthbound, so often staring beyond the here and now at what I did not know, could not name. We, who had been so connected across the decades, so much in one another's pocket, were no more. My husband would forget both home and name as agitation and restlessness gave way to more and more sleep. In the days leading to death, only sharp pain would cause him to yell my name aloud. Mary Ann! The first time it happened I didn't realize he had even called my name after not saying it or any other name for days. It wasn't until my older brother pointed it out that I realized some part of Rob could still retrieve my name.
Against these dramatic changes was the knowledge that a handful of months earlier we were planning a holiday in Maine, untouched by the diagnosis of cancer and the failure of doctors and hospitals whose carelessness would alter our lives forever.
60 is too young to die.
17 is too young to be fatherless.
56 is too young to be a widow.