Yesterday, CrabbyCancerMan died. I’m still trying to figure out how to say it.
“My husband died.” So dramatic.
“My husband passed away.” That makes it sound like a piece of paper floating to the floor, which isn’t quite right.
“My husband lost his battle with cancer.” He hated that metaphor.
“…went into the great beyond.” A little overly mystical for us.
“…sleeps with angels.” Saccharine.
CrabbyCancerMan was known for his surliness. Even without the cancer, he could have just been CrabbyMan. Not that he was a complainer, but he was a master of well timed snark, especially directed at pop culture and the follies of humanity at large (rarely at the follies of an individual). So perhaps I prefer to think of him as one of those who will cause the great ironies in life, which makes a person look up at the sky and say “Really? We’re dealing with that today?”
I just lost him yesterday, so I’m still reeling. In our tradition, I’m not technically a mourner yet – in a sort of limbo of “pre-mourning.” It feels a little like that, too. It comes and goes, but at the moment, I do feel like I’ve lost something – like I forgot to put a heavy book back in my purse, and when I went to lift it, it is lighter, but I know something is wrong and it leaves me unsettled and I won’t be able to go anywhere until I can figure out what happened with it. Almost like losing one’s wallet, but in the emotional sense. When that feeling goes, it is replaced by the feeling of an anchor suddenly thrown overboard – heavy, forcefully keeping me in place and unable to see past a horizon of sorrow. I know that someday I’ll sail past that horizon, and begin to heal, but today is clearly not that day.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share some of the posts that CrabbyCancerMan asked me not to share while he was alive.
For now, thank you everyone for your company on this journey.