Her name was Alina and she was the love of my life.
26th of July 2018 she passed away, six months prior we had discovered a tumor with little chance of recovery.
At first there was hope that surgery would help or at least buy us some time, we tried everything and got second, third and fourth opinions with different doctors only to get slammed with the harsh reality, there was nothing to do except wait.
We had been together since university and had plans to marry that summer, she wanted to have a small ceremony in Italy with our closest friends and family while I tried to present my brilliant idea of an underwater wedding. We compromised and decided to go for Italy.
To be fair, I did not mind, she could have suggested to marry at the local skate park and I would have said yes.
She was tough and determined that her time left would not be spent being unhappy but instead made sure to appreciate all the small things.
I on the other hand cannot say I shared her mindset, don´t get me wrong, I loved seeing her happy and it made everyday a bit easier. But hell, it hurt so much knowing that this would soon be over and I did blame here for some time after her death, how could she take it so easily when I would be left behind with the pain?
I remember one night, it had been a rough day and I felt like I was miles away in my thoughts. She called me out to the balcony, this was her favorite spot at night as she loved stargazing, she pointed at the moon and I could see how happy she was of its beauty and all I could bring myself to say was “Mm, yes it´s nice. I have to get back to some paperwork before bed. We have to go up early tomorrow for your appointment Alina” and gave her a kiss on her forehead.
It might sound trivial for you but that night was the first time in a long time I had seen sadness in her eyes. She wanted to share something with me that made her happy and I could not bring myself to appreciate it, I did not reflect over this until after she passed away.
Months passed, more and more of our days were spent either in our apartment or at her parents house. She had wanted us to stay at the apartment for as long as possible because it gave her a feeling of reassurance to have everything around her as she was used to.
Eventually she needed a wheelchair so we had to move to her parents house for a while, more space to move around both outside and inside. It was well needed as I realized how stressed I had been in our apartment worried that something would happen to her when I was away or asleep, now she had someone around her at all times.
She also had the company of their dog, Leo, he was 15 years old at the time. A beautiful husky, they had a special bond as Alina was only twelve when they got him. I could swear the Leo knew that Alina was sick, he would follow her wherever she went and made sure to take my spot in our bed.
Looking back I recall having to struggle to keep up with her positiveness, sometimes I did question her and we actually got into arguments because of this.
I could not understand how she managed to be so positive and even more, how could she expect me to feel the same way? I only saw all the broken pieces I would have to pick up when she was gone. Her parents, Leo, my parents, our friends…myself.
We had gotten her a telescope so that she could keep stargazing where she seemed to forget time, it made her happy but I had a hard time engaging and often sat next to her reading about different medical articles hoping to find the next miracle cure for Alinas cancer.
She would often make fun of me for my reading choices while explaining how magical the night sky was. We were living different realities at times but deep down I knew, we all knew, what the outcome would be and that it would come sooner than later.
Alina was probably the one making the most of her last time and tried so hard to make us all feel the same way.
It is a strange feeling knowing that someone they love will soon pass away. We often had conversations about death, how it felt being in her shoes and it resulted in beautiful but also very funny conversations. She had a way to make death seem less daunting…
26th of July 2018.
Damn. Even writing the date is hard.
No one ever prepares you for how it is to loose someone, no matter how many books you read or how many podcasts you listen to, it is fucking hard.
She had turned worse some days before she passed, she was determined that she did not want to spend her last days in a hospital bed, she wanted to be around us, Leo and look out over the sea in her favorite room.
It started to get dark outside, it was a warm night and I had put on her favorite playlist in the background. Her parents had fallen asleep on the couch next to the bed holding each other and her fathers hand still holding Alinas arm gently.
I remember thinking that it was bright that night, I looked out and noticed that the moon lit up the room. It cast a beautiful light on her face, she looked so peaceful.
I looked back at the moon and studied it for a while.
“The moon is beautiful, isn´t it Alina?”
That was our final moment together, i felt a light squeeze around my hand until she gave out her last breath.
Japanese phrase 月が綺麗ですね translates into “the moon is beautiful, isn´t it?”
It is a more poetic way of saying I love you, supposedly from the Japanese writer Natsume Soseki (1867-1916).