Monday, June 11, 2012

Do you know about the coin that Kirk gave you? I’ll tell you since you were dead when he did it. He brought a Sgt coin to your funeral and presented it to you just before they closed the casket. It brought my love and respect for him to a new level when I realized that he did this thing, what some would consider a small thing, but a gesture that was monumental to me. It meant the world to me that he took the time to go get your coin and bring it to the funeral and place it in your lapel pocket. After he arranged it perfectly in your pocket he patted it and, with tears streaming down his face, saluted you. One last time.

It feels strange, loving him so much and missing you so deeply. When I was a kid I used to lay my head on your chest and listen to your heartbeat. It was strong and comforting and made me feel safe. When I married him I did the same thing and his heartbeat took the place of yours in terms of making me feel so safe and comforted. Then on your last day it all fell apart. I laid my head on your chest because it felt natural to do so. I listened to your heart beat every once in awhile, no longer strong and loud and this horrible terror started to rise and I thought it was going to consume me. Hearts beat in an unpredictable rhythm near death, erratic and weak. It scared me that you were no longer that strong force in my life. I could actually hear you dying.

I listened to you die. I heard it. Your heartbeat came weakly and haphazardly and when I heard each beat I wondered if it would be the last so I savored each one. I remember the very last one because I hoped it wouldn’t be.
And then it was.
And you were gone.

I am trying to reclaim that gesture, of putting my head on his chest. I’m trying to get it back to that safe comforting feeling, but I can’t seem to forget what it was like to hear you die. I can’t seem to stop feeling that moment of loss when my head rested on your chest and you were gone.

Last night I tried to lay just my cheek on his chest so I wouldn’t hear his heart beating. It felt weird and contrived and not at all comfortable. It was a lame attempt to make this right again.

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