June 30th 2011 two people died: one of them (me) is still breathing. That was the day that I had them turn off the life support machines that my wife had been hooked up to having come into hospital about two weeks before. The doctors were giving no hope, she had been hospitalized three times in one year for total respiratory failure but this time a UTI had spread as sepsis through her system and had shut down her kidneys, was starting to affect other systems. I don't know. Did I do the right thing? It was all so quick, too quick. Should I have fought or am I right that that would have been torturing her in the long run for no reason. Gods. Did I mess up or did I do right? And does it even matter? She had been in pain so long, so damn long. Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Peripheral Neuropathy, and more. She had been debilitated. She often remembered how she used to go for long runs each day before going to work but from that time we married she was using a cane, then a wheel chair, then an electric cart. She was on so many meds (I set them up, counted 49 a day at one point) that they had messed up her GI so bad she had to use daily immodium and wear depends. That caused her such shame, such fear that something would happen in public. And yet, and yet... to the end (and even when we were heading for possible bankruptcy) she paid and worked to provide a free grants information service to non-profits. She volunteered at a disability action group and helped them fight to sort out local taxi company who were ripping off people with disabilities among other things. She maintained a blog that had various respondents, dealing with her fight with her illnesses and with living a life despite that. She was a much stronger, much more giving, much better person than I can ever be. I died with her, yet somehow I'm still going through the motions. She is so present in "my" house. I inherited her dog (I'm not a dog person). Her quilting room lies mostly untouched (though I did manage to donate her clothes which also used to be in there to a colleague who was a similar size and impoverished, I think she would have liked that) and contains her fabrics, her quilting essentials, a few ornaments etc, and some UFOs (a jocular quilting term meaning UnFinished Objects). Her books are on the book shelves. Her DVDs are there too. I still haven't managed to give away her DME (durable medical equipment), nor gotten rid of her remaining depends, lotions or huge box of diabetes supplies. I've managed to avoid killing off two of her house plants so far. Hell I haven't even transfer the two vehicles to my name yet and it's been almost a year. I'm surrounded by her stuff... and yet she is gone. I don't know what to do anymore. Life is so damn meaningless without her. I had done some work on recovery from child abuse before I met her but it was living with her, and the two of us helping each other heal (she was the most horrendously abused survivor I have ever met) that made me push past so many things. Now... why bother? My life, on paper, looks good. I have sufficient income that I can send $600 a month to some impoverished friends in TN without me personally suffering for it. I have now got the best, most worthwhile, most enjoyable job I have ever had and feel at least semi-competent at it. I own my own home (well I guess the bank does until the mortgage is paid off some years from now but you know what I mean). I have debts but I can now afford them. And it is all so damn meaningless. Without her, everything is worthless. Especially me. She knew I would come to this position. Both she and I have attempted suicide before, so of course she knew that. But she knew I would basically fall apart mentally and emotionally too. Do you know how many times she tried to get me to contract not to kill myself if she died before me (which was always likely)? Someone has to remember me to DJ (her youngest grand child via a child from before I knew her). But even that reason doesn't exist any more since her son moved to another state and changed his phone number without letting me know the new one hence taking both DJ and Sasha (granddaughter) out of my life. Do you know how many times she tried to get me to contract to do one of three things if she passed: either a) marry her best friend of many years (which was a bit silly as that friend has been in a relationship, albeit not the best of relationships, for around 20 years), or b) marry someone else, or c) return to my family in England because she was certain that while I was a great husband (I have my doubts) I would not be good living alone? I couldn't contract to any of those things. I think I had a point when I started writing this. I have no idea what it was now. I just... I don't know if I can go on much further without her. Please don't tell me she wouldn't want me to take my life - who knows, if there is an afterlife and it is wonderful she might want me to join her as soon as possible and if there is no afterlife then she is beyond wanting anyhow. At the moment it is what I can do for other people that keeps me alive - the friends I send cash to (apparently I mean more to them than cash but I got no idea why), the people I provide services to at work, a friend who has been suicidal and I have been able to provide some support to. I'm the kind of person who would drive to a bridge to throw myself off, find someone ahead of me, do my best to talk them out of it and get them to a hospital or therapist, and then go back and take my own life. My shit can be put aside when others need what little I can offer. But you know what? Even that's becoming less and less powerful. My job? I might be semi-competent but others could do it better. Hell I know there's a colleague I have in a slightly different position in the organization who would love to be doing the job I am as he is hoping another similar position opens up. The friends in TN? I am beginning to feel more and more - despite how much I know that thought upsets them - that the only meaningful thing I can do for them IS send cash... and cash has never been a great motivator for me. The suicidal friend? Well as soon as she is past it enough that I don't need to hang around immediately perhaps then I can go myself. Perhaps I can't even wait that long. I don't know anymore. I'm sorry.