For those of you as may not know, my best friend, my partner–my love, my wife died on the 29th of March of this year.

I am such a better man for having been her partner, if not her equal. At times, still, I cannot imagine a future without her, even as she so generously and graciously imagined one for me in the waning weeks of her own life.

Until those final weeks, Denise lived in ignorance of the melanoma that had returned to her body after a hiatus of 18 years. If you know a bit about this disease, you know that her ignorance was a boon. So much better to have spent her final months as she did rather than under the murky cloud of certain death or, worse, enduring a futile barrage of debilitating chemicals.

On learning of her fate Denise made several pronouncements, the first being (finger waggling) “We aren’t going to do dreary.” And so we didn’t. And I work to maintain the course each day since.

I am forever grateful to her colleagues and friends who showed me that if I knew her nature and her life better than anyone, there were depths to her that I did not sound and a breadth to her character beyond what I knew. I am especially grateful to Sydney, who inadvertently showed me the way to my “inner Denise,” thereby providing Denise with cause for one final smile on earth, and me with the means to continue.

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