Today while driving between errands I thought for the umpteenth time about how at least now Patrick is free of all the things that were hard for him and that made him unhappy about living here with me, hoping it could console me just a little.
Suddenly it came to me to consider the fact that I too am now free of all that was hard for me in caring for him. Maybe this was a message for me and he wants me to know this and feel better about how things are now. Maybe he wants me to feel good about being free of the enormous burdens, to put it frankly, of caring for him properly. After all, being in "hero mode" 24/7 takes a lot out of a person.
Yes, I feel free of those burdens, but I also feel empty and very sad.
I think about his body lying on the exam table and how I felt finally how old his soul was, now that he was at rest. I wish I could have spent the rest of the afternoon in peace and quiet with his body to come to terms with the enormous shift that had just taken place. As the sun slid through the sky to sink in the west, I wish I could have remained there with him in stillness and allowed my heart and my mind to adapt, to be tempered by the day passing, one moment slipping into the next imperceptibly, until the world had changed just enough without stranding me in the process.
But I could not. I left immediately, trailing unfinished business.
I still think of that one rose on the reception area counter. I think it was there for us.
I still feel empty and very sad.