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Words and Grief

Posted 7/22/2014

Posted in

  This is an entry that you may want to skip. It is brutally authentic and very sad, an essay about a young father's slow dying. Written by his wife, Lee Ann Cox, it is also beautiful and true and lasting. I have been thinking about whether or not to share it with you for a while, and have come down on the side of opening with this warning. And then going on to the real gift of her words.

  Here is the start and a link to read more:

What he said before he died
Kevin and I loved each other till the end, but it's the ugly, human moments that
continue to haunt me
by Lee Ann Cox •

“I’m a mangy gray dog with its ribs showing named van Gogh,” my husband told me not long before he died. “I
have soulful brown eyes.” In real life, his name was Kevin, and he had blue eyes. But my husband was always a
writer. Words were his tool, employed skillfully to explain, to invent, even to protect. Many years ago, defusing a
self-loathing comment I made, he told me, “No, you’re a silk undershirt named Simone.”
There was a lot of living between the silky Simone and the mangy mutt. It was mostly delicious, beaches and beds,
reading out loud, laughter unspooling through the days. Even a shared stint of unemployment we spent traveling
through Italy, slowing down in Florence so we could cook from the markets. Fava beans were in season. When we
met, on a junket for journalists in the Bahamas, we were magazine editors living a continent apart. Kevin had read
a feature I had written quoting one of his favorite Berkeley professors. He thought I was smart. So we began our
relationship via email, Los Angeles to Vermont. It was always built on words. It wasn’t until he sent me a poem, the
one about eating the plums, that I understood he was at least flirting with flirting.


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