Thursday, September 17, 2009

Death Caused by Thoughts?

I folded our warm white towels while Tatiana, only twelve months old then, napped in her bedroom. Erik and I had been married just over two years and, already, I was four months pregnant with our second daughter, Keira.

Erik and I both felt the same intense love for Tatiana and were excited to have another baby right away.

But there was no excitement in the house that day.

The house was quiet, except for the annoyed thoughts I could hear myself thinking about Erik.

Sick of his crap.

We had not been speaking to each other for hours.

I stacked the towels neatly into the closet, passing Erik in the hall. I did not look at his brown eyes or admire his thick black hair. Instead, I grabbed a new set of sheets and I walked away from him, into our bedroom.

Erik followed me, past our black and white wedding photos, but still, we did not speak.

He began helping me stretch the black fitted sheet so that it hugged our king-sized mattress.

Why is he helping me? Doesn’t he have somewhere else to be?

We stood on opposite sides of the king-sized mattress, doing our best not to make eye contact as we tucked in the corners.

I spoke, finally, with repressed force. “I can’t stand when you accuse me of things.”

Erik came around to my side of the bed and smoothed out the part of the sheet that I had already tucked in. “It’s all about you, isn’t it?”

I stomped past him, got the three black pillowcases, and flung them on top of our red comforter.

My tone deepened, anger rising. “Don’t give me that, Erik. You’re the one who has to go off and sleep in the guestroom.”

“Why would I sleep in the same bed as you when you act like this? It’s like I can’t even reach you.”

I felt a hint of guilt, knowing that Erik was constantly sex-deprived during my pregnancies, but I was standing firm. “Don’t you think my feelings should be hurt when you jump to conclusions? You immediately assumed that I was the one who lost the video camera.”

“Of course I thought you lost it. You don’t keep anything organized.”

“Some people don’t need to be obsessive compulsive to know where things are. You act as if I don’t run a successful business.”

“It still amazes me how.”

Erik shoved the white, down pillow into its black cover. The cotton made a flapping sound as he shook the case in front of him.

A sheet of Bounce fell from the pillowcase, its fresh scent a contrast to my rising irritation.

"You know, you can really be a jerk sometimes. I’m tired, I’m pregnant, and I already have enough on my plate.”

I kept my mouth shut, but my mind was loud.

I don’t need you anymore. You can just disappear. I have Tatiana and another baby on the way. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I have my two babies. What do I need you for?

We glared at eachother with obvious contempt.


Later, we made up, as we always did, and laughed at our ridiculous behavior. We apologized for the hurtful words, acknowledged that the nasty thoughts had come from an insecure place. We were both tired, both stressed from working too much so that we could save enough money for our first house.

We did not know Erik would drop dead on our kitchen floor just three months later. We were both 29. We thought we had another fifty years of fighting and making up.

The grief process has led me back to this argument again and again. Did I somehow cause Erik’s death with the awful thoughts I had that day?


  1. Hyla, As I have come to know you and your life through your courageous words, I have begun to challenge myself to make it to the end of every post without tears in my eyes. Just between you and me, I never make it. I am always captivated by what you have experienced and I am deeply saddened for the road you have had to travel.

    I am not sure if you want opinions or answers to your question at the end of this post, but here goes. There is no way you could have known the outcome in Erik's life. There is no way you could have foreseen that his heart would stop and he would pass away at such a young age. There is no way that any of this is your fault.

    When my sister was killed in 1997, I, like you, asked myself many questions about what I had done wrong in our relationship and what I could have done differently. Was I somehow to blame for the way she lived her life? I also grilled myself about what I would do now, if she were still here. Of course, there are no clear answers to these questions; only empty, unresolved regrets. What I can tell you is that in my experience, the regret will only hinder the process by which you must heal. If you are not careful, it will silently, secretly steal away from you, other things in your life that matter the most.

    I do not know if this will help, but I wanted to share my thoughts. Thank you for once again grounding me and helping me to see through all of the distractions in my life and fix my gaze on what is most important.


    1. Đồ nội thất hòa phát là sản phẩm phổ thông và được sử dụng nhiều nhất trong tất cả các văn phòng, trường học, gia đình,...Mỗi sản phẩm của hòa phát đều được gắn thương hiệu trên từng sản phẩm. Hiện nay trên thị trường có rất nhiều cửa hàng treo biển bán sản phẩm nội thất hòa phát với giá rất rẻ. Vì vậy khách hàng thường nhầm tưởng giữa sản phẩm nội thất hòa phát chính hãng và sản phẩm nội thất trôi nổi. Cùng chúng tôi đến công ty mua bàn làm việc tphcm chính hãng có đảm bảo chất lượng và bảo hành sản phẩm cho khách hàng. bàn văn phòng hòa phát có rất nhiều kiểu dáng khác nhau, cùng phối hợp các màu sáng đẹp, tạo nên một sản phẩm bàn làm việc hiện đại. Bàn làm việc văn phòng gỗ được sử dụng nhiều nhất là mau ban lam viec van phong có hộc CPU rộng và ngăn bàn để bàn phím máy tính, ngăn bàn nhỏ đựng tài liệu và 1 ngăn kéo ra kéo vào đựng tài liệu quan trọng, hay các loại bàn làm việc chân sắt với thiết kế đơn giản, nhanh gọn nhẹ vói chân sắt sơn tĩnh điện mặt bàn phẳng rộng thích hợp cho mọi văn phòng làm việc.

  2. You are so beautiful to wonder that.

    Is this the last fight you had with Erik before he passed away? Maybe that's why it stands out so well.

    Maybe it's a blessing to be able to remember that moment so well, to be able to recall with such perfect clarity. True, it's not hugs and kisses, but it is a strong memory of your beloved Erik. How wonderful to be able to drop back into any memory like that! How amazing that it is still so solid, un-hazy and perfectly preserved.

    And, maybe, the memory is there as a reminder on how you want to live today, how you want to be with your family and all your friends. A reminder to be gentle when gentle seems impossible.



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