Clark and I never went to the area of town where I now live. I had to ease myself into the relief I feel coming home to a place that’s not steeped in reminders of him. When I drive by the last apartment we rented, my memory of him takes a break from humming to clear its throat. In my new living room, I handle thoughts of him at a slower pace, without the interruption of a place where we once had coffee or the store where we bought beer that time. I felt like I was taking the next step in the life I have to live without him, and that it was an improvement. I even thought he’d be proud of me for giving myself a break, setting goals and looking forward to the future.
This ran in the New York Times yesterday. The whole story, the video – this couple is basically the same as us. They fell in love just after he was diagnosed, and we discovered Clark’s cancer six months after we met. This person, Gavin Snow – even his body looks the same as Clark’s did, deteriorated in the same pattern. Watching this couple interact, this healthy-looking woman and her shrunken partner, recalls my memory of us together, of handling his brittle body. I miss him, and I want to talk to him about it.
“And you would think it would be weird to say, but how lucky can a guy be, or a girl be, to get to have that feeling of kind of, what may be like, pure … love? To think that someone loves you, like, completely, and to feel that before you die … I’m lucky because I know that not everyone gets to feel that or to know that. To know it,” Gavin said.
This video cemented the reality that as I make adjustments, as the two-year mark approaches, I am further from him than I’ve ever been. And to soften that blow, I’ve had to remind myself that like Gavin, I know it. I know the love Clark had for me was absolute. I’m sure that he knew it, too.