There are days when I want to burn them all. Every single flat, one-dimensional photo that I have of him. Because I hate that it’s all I have. I hate that I can’t feel the stubble on his face, only run my fingers across the high-gloss sheen of a 4×6 from Walgreens. Is that all you’ve got for me? A shiny fake finish on a life that was so much more? It’s not enough to fill the void. Not. Enough.

Actually, hold on, we can frame it differently if you’d like, we give him 4-6 months. How do those dimensions work for you? 4-6? 4×6? More like getting smacked in the chest with a 2×4.

I never thanked his oncologist. I think it’s because she was the one who said those words. She wasn’t to blame; she tried to help. But it was on that day that I felt the floor give out from under us, and down the rabbit hole we went. It was infuriating and sickening to look up and see them all watching helplessly, with pity in their eyes, knowing there was nothing they could do. But 4 months is more than some people get. And cancer? I guess I can be thankful that I have a convenient enemy to direct my anger at.

And so I continue to flop around, some days thankful, other days resentful. Surrounded by photos, and his folded t-shirts. Memories. A drawer full of socks. His shoes, sitting in the closet, empty, never to be filled again. And the photos, a precious, precious facsimile, but devilish in their trickery. I hate them and love them. The reminder of everything I had, and everything I lost.

7 thoughts on “4×6

  1. Oh my! I feel like I have missed so much! All I want to do is scoop you up and give you a hug! I would open my house to you where you could be part of my chaos I call home with my crazy children, teasing husband and fugly dog. You are hanging in there but your sadness always brings great big tears to my eyes. Your Sorrow is so palpable. I wish there was something I could do for you..for that grief. I send you so much love and so much warmth. May today get just a wee bit better…I so hope so.

    • You always make me smile! Thanks for your kind words. Wish I could meet you, and your family and your fugly dog! I haven’t been writing as much, I think because I’ve been doing better…living more in my life, and less in my grief. But it’s a slow process.

      • I am glad. Life is for living…every moment of every day…And slow is still good. My favorite fable ever was the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. Although this is not a race and there really is no true winning…. At the end slow is healthy, slow is good. Slow lets you get your baby legs under you a little bit at a time.

  2. And we will get older, while they stay frozen in time; sometimes I’m speechless for rage, sometimes for grief, sometimes for how powerless I am; and other times, there are so many words I can’t write them down fast enough.

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