Skip to main content

    I'm going to try to tell a little story.  A very personal story.  I don't know if I'll hit publish.  Just writing it may help.

      It was a long time ago but every year on this date it all comes back.  The memory is vivid and still in color.  And the pain.............well, there are no words for that.

      The first clue that something was amiss was the empty spot on my bedside table which everyday held a cup of coffee.   I waited but  finally got up and went down to the kitchen where I expected to find my husband or at least the coffee brewing while he was outside getting the paper.  But there was no coffee, no husband.  I then checked all the main floor rooms - quietly, as there were children, ages 8 and 11, asleep upstairs.  Okay,  check outside.  His car was there.  He wasn't in the pool.  The boat was at the dock.  Now, I'm irritated.  I had to get this show on the road.  Get the kids up and fed and off for my son's first tennis lesson which was scheduled with the club pro.

      Last place to look was the lower level. Down there Jim had an office and a studio but he never went there before coffee. Strange.  At the bottom of the stairs I looked to the left, into the office, and there he was, apparantly asleep.  Sitting up in a leather armchair, peacefully asleep.  Leaning against the door jamb, hand on hip, I proceeded to, not so gently, ask him to wake up and help me get going.  It was then I noticed  little red spots on his grey pajamas.  Heart attack came to mind and I rushed over,  put my hands on his shoulders and started shaking him.  Then I saw the gun wedged between his body and the chair arm and I knew instantly he was dead.  Red spots, blood, gun, dead.  Simple.

      If this was  a movie or a novel there would be screaming, crying, holding him in my arms, but none of that happened in my very real life.  There were children and they were sleeping directly above.  I closed the door, went upstairs, called the police, called a neighbor to come for the children, called his brother in New York and waited.  Within minutes both a police car and and ambulance arrived.  I gave a brief statement to the officer and went upstairs to wake the children and get them ready to be taken away.  Police escorted them through the crowd which had gathered in the street and our front yard. More police had arrived and they wouldn't allow me to go back downstairs with them.  Thinking they were doing me a favor, they removed his body though the downstairs studio door and whisked him away to the morgue.  I never saw him again.  Never saw that handsome face, those blue eyes, that thick wavy dark hair again.  So when I think of him on this anniversary of his death the picture is grim.  I have to go to old photographs to remember him alive and full of himself,  in his favorite navy blazer, grey slacks, so tall, so ridiculously preppy, smiling, laughing, clowning or posing quietly for the camera.

     And on this day, the anniversary of his death, I have to work at remembering the good times, the effort he expended every day of our short life together to make me happy, the unconditional love he brought to my life, the expanded world he made possible for me to enjoy, the kindness and generosity and gentleness I had never before experienced.

     Sometimes I think if he hadn't given so much to me and the children, he might have had more for himself, have been left with more strength to go on and battle the demons that plagued him.  

      There was no note but he did leave all his affairs in order with great pains taken to protect me and the children.    He knew, even if I didn't then, that I'd go on.  And he knew, even though I didn't then, that I would come to understand and forgive. He knew all that because he knew I loved him.

        Jim was an artist and when I see Eddie's pictures here - pictures of incredible sunsets across the Hudson River river - I imagine Jim is painting them - pink and orange and red - to make me smile and remember.  Remember the best years of my life.  Remember It was Jim who told me, when I pushed to move on from a glorious mountain view, to take time, to always take time for beauty to soak in and become a part of your soul.

       Personal diaries here usually close with some words of wisdom.  Lacking anything profound, all I can offer is tell them you love them every night because you never know what may come in the morning.

                        *************

(Thanks to all of you for your generous responses and especially for sharing your stories and experiences.)

                                         *******

from steep rain in the comments:  

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Dirge without music,
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Originally posted to Lying eyes on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers, Mental Health Awareness, Depression and Suicide, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

a gilas girl, Rebecca, Velocity, JekyllnHyde, paradox, Angie in WA State, tmo, Trix, Sean Robertson, taylormattd, ferg, CA JAY, Cali Scribe, badger, Nancy in Berkeley, Spinster, alicia, maracucho, mlharges, SanJoseLady, rhubarb, ThirstyGator, jeremybloom, xynz, StevenJoseph, grover, expatjourno, bostonjay, Creosote, deaniac83, opinionated, labradog, concernedamerican, bronte17, missLotus, CanadaGoose, sarahnity, MillieNeon, AndyT, roses, sberel, Toktora, limae, jalbert, jjhalpin, splashy, hopeful, Cardinal96, wader, revsue, jdmorg, Texknight, edrie, pat bunny, susie dow, churchylafemme, HeyMikey, johnnygunn, TX Scotia, Tillie630, annetteboardman, riverlover, BlogDog, barbwires, walkshills, outragedinSF, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, ybruti, Kitsap River, mungley, Pola Halloween, poemworld, TheOrchid, valadon, boran2, Sybil Liberty, Maggie Pax, TexH, Julie Gulden, jabney, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, wizardkitten, kitchen sink think tank, Brooke In Seattle, trinityfly, boofdah, bleeding blue, wiseacre, LABobsterofAnaheim, cassidy3, gerardbellavita, ord avg guy, zinger99, FindingMyVoice, Balachan, Prismatique, turdraker, Ekaterin, kathny, big spoiled baby, Sister Havana, noweasels, greatdarkspot, Born in NOLA, Showman, trashablanca, irishwitch, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Kingsmeg, profundo, Kimball Cross, Russgirl, aggieric, Wary, fiddler crabby, fou, twigg, nonnie9999, JVolvo, bleeding heart, Preston S, tommyfocus2003, mangusta, CA Nana, Persiflage, kurious, postmodernista, Nulwee, bmcphail, j1j2j3j4, pale cold, anna shane, Noor B, Ken in MN, tgypsy, camlbacker, gloriana, blue71340, yowsta, joedemocrat, Strabo, bnasley, Seneca Doane, US Blues, second gen, jnhobbs, millwood, jhop7, carpunder, I am a Patriot, fallina7, TexasTwister, A Person, cloudbustingkid, dizzydean, Empower Ink, Mighty Ike, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, revm3up, flowerfarmer, HappyinNM, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, smrichmond, lineatus, Therapy, mikeconwell, envwq, temptxan, kyril, CitizenJoe, matching mole, sewaneepat, poohsmom, Keninoakland, Mayfly, briefer, ZhenRen, maggiejean, who dat, Fogiv, Rick Aucoin, ceebee7, nchristine, seanwright, Baldur, banjolele, IndyRobin, moonbatlulu, UnaSpenser, MKSinSA, bfitzinAR, XNeeOhCon, 57andFemale, augustin, Tortmaster, jfromga, Dragon5616, jpmassar, porchdog1961, catilinus, Larsstephens, coppercelt, RhymesWithUrple, confitesprit, icemilkcoffee, roadbear, princss6, luvsathoroughbred, klompendanser, your neighbor, cazcee, alguien, freeport beach PA, WXRock, ATFILLINOIS, pixxer, ThisIsMyTime, sharonsz, nickrud, Floande, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, Quantumlogic, angstall, mama jo, the mom in the middle, speak2me, sostos, Dixiedemocrat, AuroraDawn, HiKa, itzik shpitzik, princesspat, mrsgoo, thomask, Wolf10, Muskegon Critic, dle2GA, floridablue, Idgie Threadgoode, tardis10, peregrine kate, CorinaR, mali muso, sound of progress, Imhotepsings, LEFTYFRIZZLE, blue aardvark, SoCalSal, stlsophos, NedSparks, DRo, Regina in a Sears Kit House, ParkRanger, No one gets out alive, judyms9, bearette, SuWho, AnnetteK, ridemybike, anodnhajo, sow hat, TheLizardKing, Joieau, swampyankee, Ginger1, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, radical simplicity, MartyM, doroma, arizonablue, Kinak, Kayjay, wasatch, Melanie in IA, VigilantLiberal, Michelle Tiffany, falina, SwedishJewfish

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site