I can’t eat
Journal entry for March 13, 2007
She is beginning to realize that something is wrong. I sat with her today for several hours, feeding her a little bit of applesauce for breakfast and some sweet potatoes and mashed-up turkey for lunch. The sweet potatoes went down well but any sip of liquid made her cough violently. She'd look at me, crying, and say "What's wrong with me?" I'd say, "You're having trouble swallowing and things are going down the wrong pipe."
We haven't talked about dying yet. I'm watching her for cues to know the right time. The hospice social worker told me that life expectancy is influenced by one's will to live. She's seen people go for several months, existing on a few spoonfuls of ice cream a day. Ginny has always had a very strong will to live but I think that is beginning to fade.
Today she hugged me and whispered, "I'm so glad you're here. I would be terrified if I were alone. We'll get through this together."
I don't know if that means she thinks she'll get better, or that we'll get through her dying together.
This photo and text appeared in the exhibition, "Two Belts," at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, January-March 2013.