How can I write about that moment? The moment that my life, as I knew it, imploded and became a smoking, unrecognizable crater? Words are my tools of choice, but they fail me. Maybe if I start with numbers, I can find a way into that moment. The still point.
Three thousand fifty-nine days of marriage. Nine years, six months and fifteen days since we met. Track 1 at North Station in Boston. Three thousand miles. Fourteen feature-length screenplays. Three television scripts. Two cats. A million “I love you”s. Eight months of almost unbearable stress and worry. Ten increasingly frantic phone calls.
Three police officers.
Six words: “My dear, he took his life.”
One husband, gone forever. One forty-four year old widow. A billion questions, and zero answers.
In the end, one unshakable, unfathomable truth. For reasons I will probably never comprehend, on December 21st my husband, Tony, killed himself. He struggled with depression as long as I knew him. He would not seek treatment, in spite of my pleas. I felt that it was my job to help him, to keep his head above water even as I felt my own strength fading. I feel now, although everyone around me tells me this is not the case, that I failed. I struggle with every breath (every breath he will never breathe again) to accept, to understand that I will never understand.
He was my husband, my writing partner, my friend. He was my love and my frustration and my inspiration. He was so much, good and talented and funny, and yet angry and tormented and sad and lost.
He is gone. I am here, at the still point. Somehow I have to deal with the endless waves of emotion that swamp me. Sadness, despair, guilt, anger – so much anger – and relief and (maybe scariest of all) hope. Hope.
A still point can be an ending. But it is also a beginning. Ripples are spreading out from that point in time. Those six words that changed everything. That one moment. They spread out across the dark and silent water that I must cross. There is no way to tell where those ripples will lead me.
But I trust them.