Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  

Half a year

For most people in America, yesterday was a day off of work, school, a day to sleep in. For me, yesterday was exactly 6 months since Adam passed away. Sometimes it feels like 6 years ago, sometimes 6 days ago. Either way, I can't believe that the world has marched on for half a year without Adam. That I am still here, and he isn't. Sometimes it is too much to comprehend. But comprehend I must, and march on as well.

Before Adam passed away, I described to a friend how I felt about his impending death. I compared it to if I had never tasted chocolate, and then someone gave me a bite of it, and chocolate became an integral part of my life. Then, they said they were taking chocolate away, and I could never have it again. How could I go on knowing the deliciousness of chocolate and not have it anymore? 

I love chocolate, so this is what I compared it to. Naturally, I loved Adam more than chocolate (although never turned down any chocolate he gave me), the depth of my love for him took ahold of me, and never let go. I didn't know that I could love someone as deeply as I loved him, but how could I not love Adam that deeply? His death knocked the wind out of me. Nothing can prepare you for the moment when you are told the man you intended to spend the rest of your life with has died. I will never forget the way I felt in that moment, I literally felt like someone had poured ice water from the top of my head to my feet. I remember thinking, and so it begins....Here is life after Adam. Then I felt like that water froze around me, and I went through a daze for the next few months. I don't remember those first 2 months, I remember bits and pieces, but my memory doesn't kick in until around early November. That is a strange feeling, but I know it is the body's way of coping. 

So now it is 6 months later, and reality is settling in like a ton of bricks. Adam is not alive. I am. I am creating a new life, and he is not a part of it. 

But, I think back to the chocolate comparison, and remember that although Adam was taken away, no one has taken away my memories of him. I still have those, the countless pictures, the farewell video he made me, the farewell playlist he made for me last December when his tumor had returned yet again, and played for me in August when he was in hospice. I think about how Adam told me he wasn't worried about me, because I am so capable. He told me that he thought I would go to yoga the day after he died, and that in fact, I SHOULD go to yoga the day after he died. I think about all these things, and am grateful for Adam, and his parting gifts. 

But it is not enough. I know what it is to have Adam in my life, and I want him to come back. 

But I know he can't. So I try to be the capable person that he believed in and loved, and carry on. Even though 99.9% of the time I have no idea what is going on. I heard a song in yoga yesterday, that I thought was very fitting for the 6 month mark of Adam's death. It felt like something Adam would say, and he would have liked the song. Some of the lyrics were:

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different "kind"

Now all your love is wasted?
Then who the hell was I?
Now I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines

Skinny Love, Bon Ivers.


For the record, I did go to yoga that next day.





Posted by Katie Strumpf at 5:56 PM on February 22, 2011 | Comments (0)


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