Today is the anniversary of Scott's death.
Lately I've been thinking about this time last year - the day we learned that further chemo and radiation and clinical trials were no longer appropriate; the day he started hospice; the day the nurse told me she thought Scott had about a week left. The day the chaplain came over and helped each one of us add a handprint to a canvas so that we could remember a time when we were all together. Scott's last night, when the wind was howling and and my sister and I sat vigil, reading letters and emails to and about Scott, stories that we'll share with Clark. Scott's last morning, which dawned clear and calm, when he waited for all of us to be with him before he very gently crossed over.
It's been a mix of emotions - pain and grief for what's lost, relief that his suffering is over, and strangely a renewed sense of joy for my life as it stands today. Clark continues to be a light in my life, especially with his enthusiasm for Christmas lights and trees and decorations and snow.
I'm absolutely enjoying my medicine rotation and the confirmation that this is what I want to do with my life. Right now there are four cancer patients on our service, all with extremely poor prognoses. I can't help but compare their journeys to Scott's. Each man is in a different place - one getting ready to start chemotherapy, another preparing for hospice, another still trying to come to terms with the diagnosis - but there's a common thread. I find myself less triggered by their situations than I used to be, which is a relief. Waves of grief still hit once in a while, when I see or hear something that evokes a strong memory of Scott. But more and more, I feel a sense of resonance, familiarity, compassion. A sadness for the marriages that are ending. A remembrance of the feeling of total chaos that a serious diagnosis brings. The universality of "I don't want to die."
I am so thankful for this community, which continues to surround us with love, and continues to remember Scott. Scott told me that he would keep loving us after he was gone, and I believe him. I still love him.