The Fourth Thursday


Mark, early 2010. He had started his first time through chemo, but wasn't ready to shave his head yet - so he got a buzz-cut that suited him so much. (He hated it.) By the time he was finished with his first trek through hell, the woman who cut his hair had been diagnosed with Hodkins lymphoma.

Not yet the official one month mark, but four Thursdays ago….

The past two days have been rockier, emotionally. Not with the great bursts of weeping that occur, but a growing sense of the great, dark, terrible chasm that’s opened up at my feet. Becoming aware of it, that’s what’s terrible.

Mark died on Thursday, March 22nd, at a Dallas hospital. Time of death was called at around 8:30 a.m., but the nurse had come in at around 7:50 a.m. and called the code. (I was enroute to work when I got a phone call at about 8:11 a.m. to “Come right away. Your husband isn’t doing very well.”)

How many times did I sit at Mark’s bedside in that hospital and hear the call over the P.A. system,  “Rapid Response, Eighth Floor, Rapid Response, Eighth Floor” or “Code Blue, Third Floor,” and wonder what was happening, was it anything like on television. I wondered if it was a recorded voice, it was so even and dispassionate.

My mind slides back and forth between what was and what is. Just now, it’s very difficult to remember a happy time. Whether it’s depression or some kind of coping mechanism, I am having a hard time remembering the good.

I miss his voice. I miss his hands, reaching for me, reaching for my hands. The notion that he will never call me, or text me, that I will never again receive one of his sweet and romantic little notes – it’s unbelievable, only until it suddenly rings true, and then it’s unbearable.

When will a Thursday morning just be a Thursday morning again? How many Thursdays will go by before it’s just another day of the week? I am stuck between a desire to move this grief thing along, and the fear that in the healing process also comes the letting go; I will lose more and more of Mark as the days go on by.

After 26 months of continuous reminders that life must be – can only be – lived for this moment and this moment only, how could I wish for a fast-forward button?

Right now, I am functioning really well. I am so busy, I don’t have time for my time-wasting standbys like Facebook, games online, email. I barely have time to sleep. It’s a blessing and a saving grace. I am “pre-dreading” the days beyond, the hot summer, with too much time stretched out before me.

If having inklings of real awareness hurt this much, I don’t want to feel the brunt of it, not anytime soon.




About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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3 Responses to The Fourth Thursday

  1. Brenda Lou Beals says:

    Thinking of you with love. You’re doing great. We are all in your corner…..we all think of you, and are holding you up. Be strong. Be happy. Let it just BE Thursday next week. xoxoxoxo

    Yours Truly,

  2. dehelen says:

    Dearest Vicki, Do not worry about the future. Live each day one day at a time. Let the chasm take care of itself. I will tell you this story: one day in therapy my counselor said to me, Sandra aren’t you tired of carrying your poor dead father’s body around? aren’t you ready to let him go yet (Mind you, this was about 40 years after he died). Let him go. It was after that I began to remember all the joyful, happy times I had with my Dad. So just be sad and angry now and know that after the letting go come the happy joyful memories. No rush. And you’ll probably have happy joyful memories along the way as well. I had those too, I just grieved a bit too long for reasons we don’t need to go into here. I love you Vicki. xoxo sdh

  3. cadyetx says:

    Vicki – the first real experience with death that I had was when my father died just weeks before I graduated from college. The way I handled it then (and pretty much every death since then) was to “pretend” that I hadnt talked to him on the phone in a while (we talked every Sunday night while I was at school). It was easy to say to myself, “I’ll call him later.”. It was about two years before I stopped doing that and got real. I say, do whatever works for you. Nothing about what you are going through is routine, even though everyone has to deal with it sooner or later.

    I love your blogs.

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