My husband, Dennis Clermont, died last fall. Some of my loss was experienced a long time ago, since Dennis had some serious mental illness — bipolar disorder, memory problems, phobias, anxiety. He also suffered from some medication side effects, chronic and severe back and leg pain, and sporadic bouts of abusing his pain meds. Over the last few years there was less and less of him remaining in a worn out, weak, and pain-riddled body. Yet there always remained flashes of the man I’d loved for so many years…. With his death, all hope of a magical recovery also died. All hope of a new medication, a new healing, a new chance. But, with his death, came the freedom to remember, enjoy, love — and mourn — who he was to me and to so many others who had been affected by his living and dying.
I certainly can’t tell all his story — so much of his living was internal and private — but much of his life was shared with me more than any other — and even as I write this, I’m smiling at that.