The last thing I posted is not something I want to read right now. It's precisely one year later, and I'll be honest: I don't feel any less sad. The moment that Dawn passed from this life felt like a hiccup in the Universe for me. Losing her shouldn't be about me, but I've learned so much about myself through observing my own reactions to her absence. Here are some of my musings.
I had no idea how much I depended on Dawn to simply be somewhere in this world to talk to or check in with. As her husband noted in his most recent post, her smile, joy, sarcasm and generally disarming attitude told me I had nothing to fear. Like a naive child I never really believed she could part from my life. That was a profound gift. She made being sick seem so un-sick to me that I'm ashamed to admit that I confided to a friend that she couldn't possibly be *that* sick. I was that kid sister who needed more and gave less than I got. And, true to form, I found myself petulant in her absence.
This sulk, lack of tolerance or what have you manifested most often where I'd have found Dawn on a daily basis. I began to hate Twitter. I hated everyone who was not her. It was not a place I wanted to be without her. All the words, the new follow requests, the posts about her just overwhelmed me. So much of me wanted to be the person she was to me for our mutual friends. I haven't always been equal to this task.
What would I say to her right now? Never has there been an experience like this before in my life. That last time you were in the hospital I wanted to get in those doctors faces and give them hell because I thought I heard in your voice a little bit of resignation. That scared me. I wanted to scream at them that there had to be answers greater than what they had. I didn't want you in some stupid semi private room with an ineffectual staff giving unsatisfactory answers. The gravity of that stay...the results of that surgery were what jerked me out of denial. Everything else happened too fast. A little over a year ago you talked with me for the last time. You told me to tell you something good. Right after I told my husband, I told you I was having a baby. You said, "This is good. You have 'em for me because I can't." And then you slowly (too quickly) slipped away. One year ago today I sent you one last text message.
Okay, but what would I really want to say to her if she were right here with me? I'd tell her how amazing her boys are--how I saw so much of her twinkly eyes and exuberance in M. That there's an unassuming sweetness but a little spitfire in P. But she knows that I'm sure. I'd just want to tell her that because I'm glad I got to physically see that all three of her men are in good shape--and that's really important to me. Just as I had unfailing confidence that Dawn would be there for me in a hot second, I know Mike knows that I'm always here for him. And that's the only way I'd have it. My vow to her is that I'll always be there. I'm like a self appointed bossy boots nervous nelly nosy parker who just won't go away. But, I have to repay the debt of gratitude I owe for the love and care she showed me when I never had much to offer but antics.
So, it's a year later. It feels just as fresh as it did then. I miss her all the time. That's the sum of it. Nothing to see people. Move along.