Day two of the real new reality

I thought I already understood grieving and no, no I really didn’t.

Yesterday was actually the second day in which I really felt the feelings of my grief; the day before when I took Dylan to clean out his dorm was really the first day that it really started to hit me.

I guess my previous thoughts like I was “grieving wrong” or that maybe I never really loved J (WTF??) were just weird protective mechanisms until reality hit me. It did seem like I was unnaturally productive compared to what I expected.

Now that I’ve gotten Dylan moved out of the dorms, suddenly I have just crashed and I crashed hard.

I look at photos of me and J together and they just seem surreal. Was I ever really that happy and loved that much? I know that I was but when I look at the photos, it almost looks like someone else. Someone else who had a much happier life.

I still have good things in my life—namely, the kids. And I am so grateful that they’re all capable adults and I don’t have to do a lot of day-to-day tending to them. Still, I feel so guilty about the selfishness of my grief, especially when I know that they’re also dealing with their own grief. I slept almost all day yesterday but then I felt so bad for leaving them alone and I apologized profusely.

They said it was fine and they were glad that I got the sleep but I still can’t help but feel like I’ve failed them by not being available to provide as much emotional support as they need.

I’m still incredibly worried about getting screwed over by the life insurance company. My mom keeps saying not to worry about it but so much of my future plans depend on it. Also, I don’t think my mom realizes just what assholes these companies can be.

I also still can’t even begin to wrap my head around the speed of J’s decline. On the one hand, I’m SO glad that he didn’t have to suffer more. Those last couple of weeks in particular were absolutely brutal to watch and that was only me watching helplessly. I can’t even imagine what it was like for him. I think that I’m going to be processing the trauma of those last couple of weeks for a long, long time.

I knew he wouldn’t have forever but I really never expected the end to come so rapidly or so soon.

I just really greatly miss him and I can’t really even comprehend the fact that he’s never coming back. Not ever? Just…wow.

I’ve tried looking for some kind of “sign” that he’s still around in spirit form; I have friends who swear by that. He himself believed that he’d be watching over us. But so far, I can’t see any signs of him at all and it’s just heartbreaking.

Oh shit

The grief I thought I had outrun is finally catching up to me in a big way.

I had to take Dylan down to his dorm today and get his remaining stuff out of there. The good news is that he won’t be charged for another semester of housing, given the circumstances.

Another great thing is that I couldn’t fit his portable fridge in my car and the one person I know with a big enough vehicle would spend as much in gas (or more) as the fridge is worth.

He started out wanting to sell it to his roommate but I kept talking about karma and the importance of doing nice things for others without expectations in return. I’m a very firm believer that when you do nice things for others, it will always come back to you in some way.

He paid for the fridge himself so I understood why he wanted to keep it but it was just going to be too impractical to bring it back with us. He’s typically been the most resistant of all my kids to spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity and I’ve been kinda lowkey worried about him. He still fights against a scarcity mindset and I keep trying to teach him generosity.

In the end, he asked his roommate if he just wanted to keep the fridge, which he did. And I was so proud of him for making what I felt was the right call.

Even in the midst of our own suffering, people are being very generous with their help. And we should not be greedy about holding onto our own stuff.

It was such a tough and emotional day for both of us. I really got the sense that he was saying goodbye to College Station, which was very painful for him. We went to HEB (a favorite grocery store we don’t have up here) and got fried chicken from a local favorite place.

I cried a lot on the way home, almost to the point of feeling physically ill from it. I’ll be honest—I’ve never loved the drive there (especially because I always made a round trip in a single day.) But he made a lot of good friends there and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever see them again. I know kinda what that’s like since I’ve made several long-distance moves in my lifetime. But he is so young for that kind of heartbreak.

He may go back in the fall and that situation is always evolving but I also see it as more probable that he won’t. And in a way, that makes me profoundly sad for him. He’ll find his way to something that hopefully isn’t as soul-crushing as his experience there was but I just really hope it isn’t another hard adjustment for him.

But he was already having a hard time with the adjustment, even before J’s health took a very sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. Simply being there caused a lot of physical and mental health problems for him. And while I always told him that he could drop out at any time (and it’s to his credit that he didn’t), I can’t help but also hold myself responsible because I didn’t play up the advantages of taking a gap year or two.

I don’t know where he’ll end up; I guess a lot depends on whether or not I get the life insurance and when.

But I just kept crying over the bitter unfairness that J was taken from me so soon. I had to throw out a Valentines Day card I’d gotten for him when I was cleaning out my trunk in preparation for the trip—I really and truly expected him to be here that long. The speed of his decline to the end came much, much faster than any of us saw coming.

Meanwhile, my MIL is still being horrible. I logged in from J’s account yesterday and she posted one thing about J’s death and then it was on to her usual stuff about wanting to be free of narcissists who don’t understand her and how much she loves her dogs and how much she hated Texas.

I can’t help but think about her stockpile of literal millions of dollars and she never once offered any help with anything.

I don’t know how to sit with my grief, I really don’t. He was my absolute best friend and soulmate. As I’ve said before, he’s always said that to lose me would be like losing a limb, and I feel the exact same way. I just haven’t found a way forward with a limb missing yet. Everything just feels so hard right now.

So much fear

I know I’m going to be okay in the short term, thanks especially to all the help I’ve gotten. I know I need to send out personal replies to all of them but right now I just feel so buried with everything.

I slept until 6 pm yesterday and I don’t even know why. I’m sure a big part of it is just pure exhaustion from everything I’ve been through in the past couple of weeks.

Another big factor is that it continues to sink in a little more each day that J is really gone and never coming back. I really can’t even begin to process how that feels except to say that it feels awful beyond words.

I applied for health insurance coverage through the federal exchanges yesterday and I don’t make enough money to get automatic tax credits toward purchasing a plan. Yet I also make too much money to qualify for Medicaid for me and the kids. Like what the fuck does that even mean?

I also had to fill out my first medical form listing my marital status as “widowed,” which just felt like a slap in the face, even if it’s true. I also had to change my emergency contact from J to Amy.

To top all that off, I am for sure going to have at the very least a long delay getting J’s life insurance money (if I ever get it.) Not only are they a shitty company but it’s also standard for life insurance policies to have an additional period of review if you die within 2 years of starting the policy. It had only been about 18 months before J died.

They can come up with all kinds of jank reasons to deny claims, though I’m somewhat reassured that I read that only like 0.5% of claims get permanently denied.

At the very least, it’s going to be a prolonged process with a probable fight on my hands (possibly requiring an attorney’s help) and I don’t remotely have the energy for that.

I still really want to buy a new-construction house in Denton to be closer to Amy and because Denton is a much cooler town than where I live now. Interest rates are also still low. Plus utilities in the city of Denton are a fraction of what they are here.

I know all that is probably going to have to wait until summer, both for me to get the life insurance money (hopefully) and for Chloe’s name/gender marker to be complete in June.

I’m just in this weird and terrifying place right now where nothing feels good.

Dyl and I are driving down to A&M tomorrow to move him out of the dorm.

And I might try to go look at a kitten later in the week because Scooter really needs a friend at his level and now that J’s gone, that’s not stopping me anymore. So maybe that’s a bright spot on the horizon. God knows that I really need one.

There’s no one reading anymore

J used to always read my blog posts. Sometimes, it was just a recap of something we’d discussed the night before. But sometimes it was also a way to clarify how I felt about something.

Now that he’s not reading and I get stats but no engagement from anyone, I just feel kind of lost. Or really a lot lost.

I think he would approve of the choices I’m making—everything from planning to move to Denton and put the property in the kids’ names as well as my own so they’ll have a co-ownership of a good investment. (That’s of course assuming I get my life insurance payout, which is anything but certain at this point.)

Dylan is rather rapidly stepping back from A&M and isn’t even sure if he wants to enroll next fall. He is beyond burned out and though he tried to make the best of it, it really wasn’t a good environment for him. It had a hugely detrimental effect on his physical and mental health. I don’t blame him for wanting some time to reconsider his options.

I just keep reminding him that whatever he decides will likely turn out right. I really can’t imagine being 19 and feeling like the weight of the world is on your whole shoulders.

Yesterday I also had some big, unexpected expenses—like $500 worth of cavity fillings for Dylan. And I’m trying to find out what we can do instead. Believe it or not, none of us qualifies for Medicaid, even despite the fact that my disability plus earnings are only around $2000 a month and the kids don’t have jobs yet.

I really, really don’t want to have to go through the JPS system if I can help it but is that just snobbery on my part?

Similarly, I bought almost $100 worth of groceries for someone who was in need. I used to do that kind of stuff all the time but I also wonder if I should be saving my money instead, especially when things feel so precarious right now.

On the one hand, my credit score finally improved and is in the “good” category. But on the other hand, I don’t really know how long that will last.

I had to fill out my first form where I described myself as widowed, which was a bit of a shock.

I don’t refer to J as “my late husband” yet because I guess on some level, I still expect him to be coming back any day now.

The alternative is thinking about the fact that he’s really for-real gone forever and I just can’t wrap my head around that yet. Maybe someday it will sink in.


I slept really late yesterday and so did Chloe. I had a lot of articles due yesterday and just didn’t get them done. I explained the circumstances and I hope I’ll get more time. I’m sure I will unless I just can’t write them.

We’re still moving ahead with our plans to move to Denton. But a lot of that is really contingent upon getting the life insurance, which the more I read about the company, the more scared I am that I might not get it or they might deny me getting the full amount.

We may even try to move by the time the fall semester starts. Dylan is really reconsidering whether or not he wants to go back to A&M this semester after all. He has to decide soon because classes start next Monday.

The alternative option of living at home and going to UNT looks a lot better when he considers the fact that living in Denton wouldn’t give him much of a commute and he could save the expense of borrowing money for his housing. He could graduate college with very, very little debt.

But of course, he has to consider the friends he’s already made at A&M and the fact that their engineering program is considered better.

Meanwhile, I am in kind of a state of unreality so far, to the point that it really worries me. I’m still mostly numb. Shouldn’t the grief be hitting me a lot harder right now?

Is the fact that I’m not grieving harder just a sign of how deep my denial is? Does it mean that I didn’t really love J as much as I thought I did? Furthermore, did he really feel like I loved him? I really hope he did. And I really hope my numbness and denial are just temporary, that eventually my real grief will kick in and be as unbearable as I expected.

On the other hand, I also did a whole lot of anticipatory grieving. My psych last week said that she had a similar experience with a loved one and the fairly extreme amount of anticipatory grieving she did before the person died did seem to lessen it after the fact.

So maybe I’m not a total sociopath. Maybe I did really love him as much as I thought I did. And a bigger wave of grief may still be coming.

For now, as guilty as I feel about “grieving wrong,” I mostly just feel relief that he’s not suffering anymore. The past months—really, ever since his surgery last February—were really hard on him. And they were really hard on me, too, because there was so little I could do to help him.

I’m really just so relieved that he’s not suffering anymore but I don’t know if that’s the wrong way to feel.

Chloe’s birthday

Yesterday was Chloe’s 21st birthday, which means she’s now legally old enough to drink. But largely because J and I worked so hard to demystify alcohol and drug use (including letting her have some on several occasions—which is totally legal for parents to do in Texas) it didn’t really feel like a big deal.

But we got to go to Denton to Amy and her boyfriend John’s apartment to celebrate Chloe’s birthday and tried to make it feel as celebratory as possible. Amy and John got us pizza from Mellow Mushroom and some Denton-made local lavender honey ice cream. It was a pretty nice time.

Amy and John rave about how awesome Denton is. And that just got me to thinking…maybe I don’t want to stay where I am now, even though my house feels like a home and is truly pretty spacious.

I talked to Chloe about maybe trying to buy a house in Denton once I get my life insurance check and she has a job. She mentioned that she still wanted to maybe move out of the country at some point but real estate here is a pretty good investment and we would likely be able to sell at a profit.

I don’t think I’ll be moving all that soon. But who knows? It could still be by the end of the year. Or not. I just know it would be nice to be closer to Amy and the town she lives in is actually pretty cool.

I don’t know if this is all a distraction from thinking about the fact that J’s gone. Yesterday was a week since I lost him. Time has changed since then and I can’t explain how. It both feels like it’s been much longer than a week yet also feels like it was just yesterday.

I have a weird relationship with this house now. My landlord still hasn’t responded to me notifying him of J’s death and I’ve now reached out by both text and email. I’m trying hard not to read anything into that.

I’ve still got pretty much all of J’s stuff just where he left it. I can’t bring myself to wash his coffee mug or move his clothes yet. I think it will probably be a long time until I do. Dyl and Chloe asked me if it was intentional that everything is still just where he left it and it is. It’s like a shrine to him until I can set one up for real.

If I had my own house that I owned, I could get as many cats as I wanted. J always said our limit was 4 and two of our cats are just in stubbornly good health despite being so elderly. Whereas if I moved into an apartment, all of them have a 2-cat limit.

Maybe on some level I haven’t accepted that he’s really gone yet. In fact, I’m sure that’s the case. It’s starting to sink in though and it’s overwhelming. I think that will take me quite a while longer. There’s just such a deep emptiness where he used to be.

But I’m starting to think that when I am ready to put away his things, it will probably mean I’ve made some peace with his loss. I’m definitely not there yet. But when I do get there, I’m increasingly seeing the appeal of leaving this house and neighborhood altogether. I just spent so many years within five miles of this address and I spent them all with him.

Another day

It was another day in which the reality that J’s really gone hit me even harder than it did yesterday.

Chloe was especially helpful and wonderful. She let me cry for a bit. I tell you, I see her really blossoming and coming into her own and it’s SO lovely to see. We were always very close until she started high school and it worried me that she became very withdrawn and depressed for a number of years. I’m so happy that the “real Chloe” is returning to me.

But I’m also just really, really sad that J’s gone. It’s like I try to stay busy and sound positive when I talk to people but the moment I’m alone with my thoughts, everything comes flooding back in.

I had some good events today. I talked to my uncle for about an hour and a half. Learned a lot about my family history. I couldn’t help but notice how many members of my family experienced losses, including of their children. It explained a lot—and also reminded me that suffering is just part of life. It feels unbearable but you have to go on anyway.

A very generous friend of mine offered to pay for Dyl’s tuition for one class and I am so honored and grateful. But I’m also wondering if I should still try to reach out to the A&M alumni orgs to see if any of them can help instead. My friend has some big money problems of her own and while her offer is extremely generous, I might want to see if I can source other help to take the burden off of her.

J’s employer also started a memorial fund via GoFundMe and that really touched me, too.

It’s like I have all these conflicting emotions right now. I’m so grateful for all the help, so truly and deeply.

But the fact of the matter is that grieving in itself is a full-time job and it’s just beginning.

Staying busy

Yesterday was much harder than the day before. Slowly the realization that J is really for-real gone and never coming back is beginning to dawn on me and I can’t even deal with it. I think it’s going to continue to hit me harder for a while.

The bright spot of my day was probably that I got to talk to my sister. She and I have never really been especially close. She reached out to me by text a couple days ago and I replied that I tried calling her back and got voicemail but I didn’t know how often she checked it. She replied back (sounding kinda snippy) about all the million things she had to do with the kids and that she had heard my message but was so tired she was just going to crash so sorry.

I replied yesterday morning, sounding very light and I just said something like “hey, I totally get it! I know you are super busy. If we have to schedule a time that works for you I’m totally fine with that.”

So she called me while her kids were in a half-hour music class and we talked. I was very pleasantly surprised that she didn’t offer any of the typical platitudes. She said that it was good that he was no longer suffering but he was still gone way too soon.

And in a way, I feel almost guilty that I’ve been able to relax quite a bit since J died, particularly in terms of Covid. Don’t get me wrong—I still wear my N95 when I go out—but it’s like a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I spent the past 2 years on extra high alert because I really didn’t want to get it and give it to him.

I also told her a high-level overview of the things I’m worried about (like not getting the life insurance payout) and she said that all I can really do is pray. That doesn’t offend me. Like I said, going through this experience with J has made me realize that there’s still so much I don’t understand in terms of faith.

While she’s more superficially churchgoing than I am and I don’t have any desire for that, ultimately I do feel like she’s right that all I can do is pray. Aside from bombing the insurance company, there’s little else I can do.

We communicate much, much better over the phone than by text or email.

I also got a really sweet and thoughtful card from Dylan’s girlfriend’s dad, the kind of condolence card you can only send if you’ve been through this kind of loss yourself. And he even signed it “love.” Not that there’s ever been any attraction between us. But I have tried hard to show my appreciation and respect for his help and he’s probably going to be my in-law someday, so at least we get along well.

But it was also a day of many bad surprises. Like Chloe went in for her wisdom teeth removal surgery and when I got there, they said insurance had declined the claim as not being “medically necessary.” I honestly don’t get that at all because she had X-rays and everything, and they just covered the exact same procedure with the exact same dentist for Dylan in August. I could appeal it but it would take longer than I’ll have the insurance for. So I had to pay for the whole thing out of pocket—$1600.

And then I found out that to avoid having to reapply to A&M, Dylan can take one online course this semester. Which is great but financial aid won’t cover any of it of course, so there’s an additional $1700 I have to cough up. I see my savings and GoFundMe earnings being quickly whittled away and it scares the living shit out of me—especially now that I’m suddenly a lot less certain whether I’ll even get the life insurance policy that I’m supposed to.

And did I mention that the life insurance company that denied our dental claim is the same company that is in charge of life insurance? Yikes. I definitely don’t feel like I’m in good hands and J always made me feel so safe. I can’t work any more than I already do, as I’m already maxing out my allowable earnings on disability and may even have to pay some of it back.

But I guess another bright spot of the day is that I made dinner (nothing big, just ravioli and sauce) and everyone really appreciated it and told me so, even though it wasn’t fancy. Then I made some double chocolate muffins from scratch because it’s cold here and those don’t take long to make. It really felt like a way of showing my love for the kids.

Dylan’s girlfriend spent the night and I got to help her with a couple of minor things and she got to feed Roshi a Churu stick (which he’s so polite about eating.) I like it that none of my cats are scared of her anymore. They recognize her as being among our safe tribe.

Chloe only got prescribed ibuprofen at first after her wisdom teeth removal and so I was trying to contact the dentist after hours, which proved to be kinda challenging. She was in a lot of pain and ibuprofen wasn’t cutting it.

Fortunately, Dyl still had some Tylenol 3s with codeine left over from his surgery and gave it to her.

Chloe said, “When the institutions let us down, you can always count on family.” And I guess that’s true.

I just really, really wish I wasn’t going through this alone. I wish I could tell J about how insane his mother and stepfather are being and how much harder they’re making my life. I wish I could tell him about paying extra for Dyl to stay enrolled at A&M (which he would unquestionably agree was the right thing to do.) I wish we could share a vent session about how much the insurance companies suck. I wish I could tell him about how nervous I am that the landlord hasn’t responded to me in 3 days.

I just wish I could talk to him at all and I can’t; I’ve tried. And it all just feels so hopelessly lonely.

Reality starts to set in

I actually had a pretty decent day. I got a lot done and made a lot of phone calls. My SIL’s husband came over to trim the hedges in my front yard. My SIL and her friend brought over dinner to us but only stayed for about 15 minutes. There’s obviously still some underlying tension there but we both agreed to give it some time to blow over. We said our goodbyes and I genuinely thanked her for all that she did for us.

She’s leaving tomorrow morning, a day earlier than planned, which I’m sure is mostly due to the conflict between me and my kids and my MIL.

Meanwhile, my kids are more resolved than ever to go no contact (NC) with MIL after the funeral. In truth, that really won’t change much—she doesn’t contact them and only sends cards for birthdays and Christmas.

As for what I’m going to do about her, I still don’t know. She probably won’t contact me much either (and in fact, rarely even contacted J.) But I keep thinking about the fact that she called me on her trip down here, asking how I was doing and telling me that J was so worried about me. I know she has that tiny shred of humanity in her, which makes me reluctant to go NC with her.

But then I also consider the facts that she showed no regret for how she treated J for pretty much his entire life, and she never once offered to help with anything at all in the past week. Never once said she was sorry for my loss, let alone offering any financial help (despite the fact of her sitting on over a half-million dollars that she gained from her mom’s death and Denny’s parents’ death, in addition to her own very sizable retirement savings.)

I’m also worried that although J had a slightly bigger life insurance policy than I expected, the company they used is not very well-reputed at all. I found a whole bunch of things online that said that they’re pretty notorious for denying claims and basically doing anything they can to get out of paying.

I’m really counting on getting that life insurance payment, to be honest. If I do get it, I think I’ll get by just fine. But if I don’t—or even if it stretches into multiple months of waiting—things could get pretty dicey pretty quickly. I’m trying so hard not to think about that but I admit that it’s weighing heavily on me.

I also reread the final letter J wrote to me. It’s really sweet but it’s also really sad. And I just broke down in tears reading it. Dammit, he really should still be here with me! Garbage humans like Trump just get to keep on living, while the man I was married to tried hard every day to be like Jesus in action was taken from me before even his 50th birthday.

It’s not fucking fair.

Another day in my new chapter

I haven’t really hit the wall yet in terms of grieving but I’m sure it’s coming. Although I also wonder on some level if J said a lot of prayers for me and my survival before he died. In fact, I’m actually sure that he did, because he was so worried about me.

I still don’t know what I believe about God or prayer but going through this experience with him let me know that there’s a whole lot that I still don’t understand and I’m not arrogant enough to assume I understand it all.

I completely fell apart and just totally lost my shit when I lost my beloved cat Cammy and I loved J so much more than I loved Cammy. (Understatement of the year.) But strangely, I haven’t lost my shit yet. I’m prepared for the possibility that it might still sneak up on me and I’ve just been given some temporary grace.

What I love is how well the kids are looking out for me, though. A particular surprise is Chloe—this experience has seemed to make her grow up in a hurry. The weird thing is that she doesn’t feel resentful at all about doing it; she just feels like it’s what J would’ve wanted her to do.

She checks on me several times a day to make sure that I’m doing okay and gives me lots of hugs. She’s going to get a job and split the housing expenses with me 50-50 (though I also let her know that she may not get that many hours at first and she can just contribute whatever she can.) We also agreed that Dylan should not drop out of school or pay for any of our housing costs.

Really, Chloe is just really blossoming into her own person and it’s so lovely to see. She’s empathetic, in touch with her emotions, and fiercely protective of the ones she loves.

We were talking about Sue today and Chloe said she’ll be cordial to her if she sees her at the funeral but beyond that, she doesn’t intend to have any more contact with her. The fact that Sue hurt me on the same day J died and apparently regrets nothing about what she did to J is enough for her. She said that if she saw some signs of remorse or intent to do better, it would be different.

I also talked about it at length with Amy yesterday. I told her that although I never made a secret of not really liking Sue (and neither did J), we didn’t want to “poison the well,” so to speak. We wanted the kids to determine for themselves how they felt about her.

Amy said that she used to find Sue funny in an Alex Jones kind of way but Sue has now hit her own “Sandy Hook moment,” where she has said things that were so repulsive that there’s no excuse for it.

Dylan’s willing to give her a chance to redeem herself (which is true to form because of how much he’s like J.) But he also said that he won’t waste as much of his life on trying to appease her as J did.

Meanwhile, Chloe is pretty much writing her off completely now, based solely on her finding it unforgivable how much Sue’s hurt me and hurt J. Chloe is really emerging to be fiercely loyal to the ones she loves, but you would never expect it based on how shy and quiet she normally is.

I really think I’m going to be okay financially in the long run, especially when Chloe gets up to speed in terms of being able to help me. And that’s such a huge relief to me that I can’t even put it into words.

But meanwhile, I’m just haunted by Denny’s expression when he saw J’s body. It truly looked like he couldn’t care less. He looked bored. And within 15 minutes, he asked Dylan to show him where he could walk his dogs. Dyl took them to a nearby trail by a stream that he loves (and where he’s thinking of proposing to his girlfriend in a few months) and both Sue and Denny were just shitting all over it, saying that the trails they have in Michigan are so much nicer.

I’m even thinking about the fact that she apologized years ago on Denny’s behalf but he couldn’t make that apology himself. And Sue never apologized for anything she did (or failed to do) at all, presumably because she didn’t think she did anything wrong.

I sent some texts to Kris last night after we left, explaining why we left and that I understand how hard it is to feel stuck in the middle. I also said that we still loved her and see the goodness in her heart. She has on “read” receipts so I know she’s seen it but she hasn’t replied yet. I imagine she’s probably pretty hurt, too.

They’re staying here until Friday morning and I don’t know if we’ll see them again before the funeral in March. At this point, I don’t even know if my MIL will come back for the funeral. She’s still having a major hissy fit that we didn’t buy her alternative cures for cancer. And as Amy said, Sue can’t lay down her arms enough to just talk about what a great man J was instead; she has to keep fighting until we admit that she’s right.

J’s cancer only had a 14% survival rate at 5 years, with or without chemo. I do sometimes wonder if the colostomy reversal surgery was the true beginning of the end. We talked about that sometimes and he kinda regretted it.

But the point is that when someone has died, you’re supposed to put aside your beliefs about what might have saved him and just honor the strength it took to endure his treatments and celebrate him for the great man he was.

Everyone seems to recognize that except Sue and that makes me so damn sad.