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.
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.
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.