Lunch Time Moments

I’m lucky enough to live only a mile or so from work, so I often come home for lunch.  My arrival home today was an opportunity to just marvel at some the changes these last two years have brought.

I used to come home filled with anxiety — what would I find?  Dennis’ depression was so unrelenting the last few years of his life that I often encountered a dark house, with hungry cats, dishes in the sink and silence fraught with misery.

I would be momentarily afraid he’d done it — killed himself — and would gird myself to check his room.

Dennis, Christmas 2007

Dennis, Christmas 2007

By 2007, it had grown seriously scary.

One time, I came home at lunch to find food in the bathroom sink, his tobacco rolling equipment in the refrigerator, the front door open, and the electric stove on — with a paper plate inches from the coil. 

When I found him in his room he was so out of it he didn’t know what day or year it was, and had no memory of any of his actions of the previous couple of hours.

In November of 2007, Dennis moved into a group home because it had become so clear that it wasn’t safe for him at home any longer. 

He died in his sleep September 20, 2008. 

For many years, he’d been the light of my life, and I of his.

The darkness of bipolar disorder, anxiety and various other mental and physical issues robbed us both of that long before he died.  His death finally freed us both from that despair.

patio pots, July 2009

patio pots, July 2009

So, today, I came home  for lunch and picked flowers from the garden. Leftovers are reheating in the microwave, and I’m posting these reflections.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever stop missing the Dennis I loved all those years. My best  friend, husband, and partner.

But I do know he’d be really glad I’m out there picking flowers.


7 thoughts on “Lunch Time Moments

  1. What a terribly sad few years you had, and what a tragic waste of the person who was your Dennis – Bipolar disease hurts everyone – the victim and those around him. Your loss is palpable, but so is the joy that you take in your life now – and that’s wonderful! Hurrah for you!

  2. Thank you for the photo and remembrance. I feel very blessed that I have such positive and strong memories of Dennis…and of you as well.

  3. Thank you for so bravely sharing that with us.

    Mental illness – despite how common it is – is still a ‘stigma’ for most people, yet it affects so many of us, or our loved ones.

  4. I lost my 24 year old nephew on October 5, 2008. We had been helplessly his decline for several years, but then felt like we had the “real Ben” back for the six months preceding his death. My grief still comes over me in waves of varying intensity, and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to really comprehend it.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. Mental illness robs so many families of their loved ones, long before death takes their bodies.
      I too experience those rolling waves of grief, and know that I’ll always feel my husband’s loss. Healing for me comes through living full out and relishing what I can of life. Blessings to you, and hang in there.


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