In a few days it will be nine months since I watched Kevin die. I no longer am counting in days, or even weeks. Now, it just seems like one big long "life" without him. As I've experienced the "firsts" (first birthday, first vacation, first family event, first visit to the vet, first tax return, first anniversary, etc.) without him, I have simply felt sad. The actual events haven't been that bad, I've just been sad to experience them without him. In the past nine (almost) months, a few really wonderful things have happened to me-- places I've been, things I've seen. As wonderful as they have been, my predominant thought, every time, has been "Kevin would have loved this," accompanied by a feeling of sadness.
I've also been doing a lot of "last year at this time" thinking. Last year at this time Kevin was able to come home from the hospital for a few days. Last year at this time Kevin enjoyed a bite of birthday cake. Last year at this time Kevin had seizures for the first time. And so on. What makes me feel awful, and a bit terrified, is that I will only have a few more months of these types of memories. Because last year, at this time, we still had hope. And I don't have any of that anymore.
Today is July 30th. Last year, we met with the organ transplant team on July 31st, our thirtieth wedding anniversary. By that afternoon, Kevin was unconscious, back in ICU, and I "celebrated" our anniversary watching him breathe on a ventilator. Still, I had hope that an organ would be found and my husband would get healthy again. We would have a future together. I didn't know, last year at this time, that he would become so much sicker in the following months that not even an new organ would be enough.
I think of my life now as encompassing four chapters: before Kevin (childhood and school), healthy Kevin, sick Kevin, and now. The prevailing theme of my current life is "no Kevin." I don't know what is going to come next. I just pray that this terrible longing for something I cannot have back will subside. Now just doesn't feel good at all.