Sunday, January 17, 2010


10 months ago today my husband died. 10 months ago right now, I was waiting for hospice to come, listening to the clicking sound in my husband's throat, knowing it wouldnt be long. After a long, terrible, restless night, he finally looked like he was asleep. He said goodbye as my son left for school, never opening his eyes, and in a barely audible whisper told him that he loved him. An hour later, he was gone.

Ive been dreading today more than any other day, truth be told. The idea of "10 months" as a marker in my relationship with my husband has been very important. We had been married for 10 months when the diagnosis of a recurrence came to us. He died 10 months later. And now, he's been gone for 10 months. Three phases, three different pieces of a marriage.

I cant say that I am moving into some new, fourth phase. I dont know yet that Im ready to let go of it all completely or that I am moving on past my grieving. Sometimes I feel like I will always mourn him, and I think thats ok. What I can say is that I can remember things we did, I can talk about him, and I can talk to him all without crying. Oh I still cry over him sometimes, believe me, but its a little easier to remember him and feel happy when I think about the things we did together.

I often cant believe so much time has gone by. In just two more months it will have been a YEAR already. An entire YEAR since he died. I dont remember a lot of the last year, honestly, or know quite how Ive made it through. I think its a coping mechanism, this "auto pilot" mode Ive been operating in. But when I stop and look back, over the last 10 months, I can see how much Ive accomplished, how far Ive come. I can truly feel like Ive honored his life by working hard and trying to do something good for others in our situation through the work Ive done with BRICKS and by simply not spending my entire life curled up in a ball on the couch (no matter how much I may have wanted to).

So today, on this anniversary of sorts, I can close my eyes, feel my heart well up with love, and say "thank you" to the brave, beautiful man who changed my life. I will try to replace sadness at the loss of his life with gratitude for having the chance to share part of it with him. I know that I will carry him with me into the next 10 months, and the 10 after that and on and on.

Thank you, Rick. I love you.


  1. What a beautiful post Charissa. Casey and I were just talking today about "how far" each of us has come in such a relatively short amount of time. 10 months for you. 8 months for me. 4 months for her. Each of us in a different part of this journey, but each of us getting stronger.

    I completely agree with you...I find it hard remembering details of the last year... as if on "auto pilot". But you're so right, you have come so far from 10 months ago. Look at all you've accomplished, what you're getting accomplished, and what the future holds for BRICKS. It's incredible.

    Hugs to you on this anniversary. I suspect the one coming in two months for you will be a hard one to swallow, too. I'll be hitting 10 months at that time and a year two months behind you. It gives me chills thinking that date is closer than it was before.