Has it really been two years since he died? Today, August 19th, marks the beginning of the 36 days chronicled in my memoir, 36 Days. I find it interesting that, after he died, I counted for a long time. Counted the days that I survived without him, as in “Day 53 and I’m still on my feet.” I did that for almost a year. Counting counting counting….

I stopped counting long ago. He came to me on his birthday last year and said goodbye. No more dreams or visits after that. And no more counting. Oh, I still feel him. Good memories of this man who loved me so much and taught me how beautiful life is. I survived the loss of him because he showed me the way. Especially in the dying. He held my hand and prepared me for the surviving without him part.

Two years. They tell me that grief never goes away; you just learn to live with it. And I have done that. Keep on keeping on. Thankful for the time we had together.

Boo, old man. I’m still riding the waves….

36 Days: a memoir by Karen Yvonne Hamilton

When asked how we met, he would always answer, “She was my babysitter.” We fell into each other from the start, although it would take a dozen years before we actually connected at the deepest level. I haven’t written the middle part yet, our years together as he struggled with depression and alcoholism. Those are hard years to write about because I suppose I just want to remember the main thing – he was the love of my life.

And one day, his sister calls me, “Alex is dying.” You can know, really know, that this is coming, but somehow hearing the words knocks the soul out of you anyway. “Where is he?” I ask. It turns out he is in a nursing home less than two miles from me. There is no thought process. I just go to him. And I stay with him all the way to the end, for 36 days.