I took the summer off from all school related activities. The research project I had lined up went into the dustbin. Instead, I planned on spending my summer grieving. I figured that I have about 10 weeks to get to some level of functioning that allows me to engage and handle school. If I haven't reached that stage, I will be in trouble. Big trouble.
But grief doesn't exactly work that way. As my dad told me, "let me know how that goes for ya. I've never known emotions to follow a timeline very well." I have no delusions about being over the grief by then. I just have delusions about being able to engage school without having to forget the loss of my brother or the struggle of my dad. If I have not attained some level of comfort with the pain by then, I will be forced to compartmentalize myself in order to finish school. Emotions will be pushed aside in order to study. I don't want to have to do that but I will, if necessary. I am determined to finish what I have set out to experience. To that end, I have one final demon to exorcise. Well, that's probably naive to think it the final one. Not probably. Most certainly it's naive and foolhardy to think it's the last one. But it's a biggie. And a painful one.....
Time was short. I didn't know how much time was left but I knew we were entering into the final phases. I figured it was time to lay my heart all and say what I needed to say before it was too late. "Is there anything, anything at all, I can do for the kids?"
"Like what?" Perplexed or irritated, I could not tell. Perhaps a little of both. Was I being presumptious in thinking that there was anything I could do? What could I possibly do that would lessen the coming sting of death felt by his kids? Was he thinking he could still beat this disease? Was he simply exhausted and in too much pain to discuss it? I will never know. He did not tell me.