She suffered terribly these last couple of days, but that is now over.
Peggie Angela Laird Brenton departed this life, officially, at 8:30 a.m. EDT when the hospice nurse checked for heartbeat and called the time.
I slept poorly last night and am exhausted tonight, making all the decisions and trying to think of all the things one must think about when a death has occurred and you are buying a house and people who love you are begging to help while you dash off the next morning on a 600-mile trip to arrange for a funeral and mourn and bury your wife; help her mother in her choice of whether to stay in Little Rock, go on back to Texas to live near her nephew, or return home with you and your daughter.
Whose seventeenth birthday is today.
Laura is resilient. She is young.
Harriette is much older and so fragile.
I’m pushing the outer envelope of middle age and I’m just broken.
Angi was just a little older than me. In the prime of health and life. Careful about her habits. Far more faithful to check with her doctor than I have ever been. But nobody could have seen the cancer exploding within her.
It came on so fast. She was just diagnosed two and a half months ago. She just entered hospice home care a week ago today.
And all that beauty, loveliness, brilliance, compassion … you who know her, you fill in the blanks. You’ll fill up pages of them.
It’s all gone.
Gone, except in our hearts.
My wife. My love. My very heart.
When I can write again, I’ll write about borrowing wisdom. Because I don’t have any wisdom anymore. I don’t have wise words or answers or platitudes or a systematic theology that covers this subject.
Just an ache and an absence and an emptiness and a loss.
So many friends have reached out to say, “I have no words.” They’re so right. There are no words.
Right now, there can only be dust and ashes and sitting in silence.
Thank you for your prayers, and sitting with me in the ash heap, and for handing me a fresh potshard from time to time so that the wounds may be scraped clean.