Monday, March 19, 2012

Like every thing is the last

Mike and I were at IKEA yesterday, a fairly normal thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, given the hordes of people also shopping at IKEA. But several times we were overcome with sadness - will this be the last time we do this? Will I live long enough to really enjoy the fruits of our shopping trip - new cushions and covers for our Ektorp couch? When will it come to pass that Mike does this stuff alone? Or when will it come to pass that the living room is changed into a palliative care ward and the IKEA stuff is shuffled off somewhere? 

These are mind blowing questions. As we said to each other yesterday, we're not ready to let go of this life we have worked very hard to have. We're just not ready. And we may not have to be. This life is where the kids are safe and happy, [as are we], we live in a lovely comforting home, we have wonderful kind loving friends, and we can sit back and enjoy it all.

But, it is true. We have to find some way through this liminal space.
We now spend a fair amount of brain space on really truly living the "live as if this is all there is" motto. It's very very very hard. 

For Michael,  he is working hard on enjoying every second being together. But soon his world will eventually not include me and he will have to keep on trucking through, well, everything - birthdays, Valentines, breakfasts, dinners, Sunday mornings, waiting for the bus. Michael cooked salmon for himself this week while I was away - with asparagus, something he claims I have taught him how to cook properly. I was very proud. He said it took great effort to shop, cook and eat for 1. Foreshadowing.

For me, it is time to contemplate the black hole we all think of as death at the same time living presently. It is there, looming, looking right at me. I need to get some better skills at looking right back at it and not feeling so afraid of it. I fear it because I don't know what it is, except that I will no longer be in this life, physically.  Every time the bone hurts, or the muscle spasms, or the nausea starts, I ask myself, is this it? Is this the beginning of the end? I  want to rebel. All sorts of platitudes and truisms come to mind - living well is the best revenge, enjoy every sandwich...etc etc. There are lots. But the point is, saying it and living it are very different beasts. 

Now, in this liminal space, we must embrace both the now and the not-now, and come to grips with both, being present, but not letting that tsunami of emotion at the loss of it it get the better of us. 
I cried a lot when I thought my San Fran trip would be the last time I saw Krissy and her girls. It seems so unfair and cruel. But living as if it is the last, well, that is the only way to truly appreciate the real beauty of something. Being right there in that second and feeling it in your pores, and mourning its loss while also enjoying its beauty, is the hardest and most bittersweet thing.  But to do otherwise is denial. And that is no longer an option. 


algobay said...


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Like the others - I have no words

Only Love.


Bob said...

It makes me very sad reading this lovely ode to goodbyes.

Of all the things to mourn, IKEA on Sunday would not be one of mine, I have to say.

At the risk of being insensitive, I hope that your state of liminality confers some blessings, in terms of existing in the here and now, but also in terms of letting worries about some things go.

Kate O'Rourke (1968-2012) said...

Bob, you crack me up! IKEA on Sunday is like, church, man. C'mon now. xo

Sarah x said...

thinking of you guys xoxo

Jean said...

Dear, dear Kate - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" - your wonderful spirit, your courage, your honesty and your generosity in sharing yourself with all of us who love you, your humor, your "youness" these are our joys and we are so grateful to have been given a chance to see and feel them.
P.S I went to Ikea once and spent only $18.00 - my clain to fame
Love and many hugs.