One day you know how your wife will die.
You don’t know the day, but you have an idea. Not a good idea. Just enough to leave you in constant worry. Sometime in the next six months. Or less. Or more. There are survivors who’ve lived for years after they’re told they have a matter of weeks. Others never see the months they expected to have.
But it’s soon. ish. Soon enough that you can’t make any plans. Everything besides living is put on hold. Her living. ‘Your’ living is in the ‘we’. You’re living as a couple; anything you’d do as an individual is cast aside. How can you say no to someone who you’re about to lose? How can you be so selfish as to worry about how the bills will be paid when she’s gone?
You can’t even imagine life after. You don’t want to. Although sometimes when it’s so dark, you start to look forward to it. Not to losing your wife. No, to the idea of this pain, this uncertainty being over. Maybe looking back at these memories will hurt less than living them. Maybe they’ll even gain a fondness as you forget how bad it is right at that moment.
But when it’s over she’ll be gone. Forever. Even now, she’s not quite here. Is she herself? Your life tossed aside for someone who can feel like a stranger. And then one word, one look, one familiar scent or sigh and you know it’s her. It’s always been her and you’d do this all again if it kept you together.
It’s funny how knowing leads to so much uncertainty.
By Isaac R.