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Family Search

I was putting away some papers this morning and I had forgotten about a pile of papers that were on top of the bin. As I pulled it down off the shelf, the papers on top fell to the ground. And a wave crashed over me as I sank to the floor and cried.

I had pulled the papers out to mail to Cory. They were his mission call, his mission release, and his priesthood line of authority papers. Things I knew he'd want that I didn't throw away. Things I meant to mail to him back in October when we talked about it over the phone. Things I meant to mail again in December when I pulled them out of the bin and set them on top of it. But then they were forgotten up there.

I reached out to my friend. She was with me when I had pulled the papers out and ached. She was at work, but she texted and offered comfort and solutions. Maybe connect them with his Family Search information?

Family Search.

I stop breathing.

One more place to write down that he is dead...a place that feels more final to me than any other place I've written it thus far. My tightrope between my lungs almost snaps this time, it's pulling so tight.

I open Family Search.

I can hear Cory's voice reminding me to breathe, as he had so many times in my life when I was doing something that was particularly hard for me. I would always seem to hold my breath. But this is different. I'm not holding it, I simply cannot breathe. My tightrope-heart between my lungs is so tight it feels like it will pull my lungs right out of their places or it will rip in two if I try to make my lungs take in air.

I go to our family tree.

Our family tree.



I see my name and Cory's name written together. To the left are the names of our seven still-born and miscarried children, with "deceased" written under each name. To the right is the name of my mother with "deceased" written under it. I ache as I read each name and remember each experience. My heart-rope gets tighter.

They are all deceased. But there is Cory's name with "living" written under it.

I click on Cory's name. Then I click on "edit" next to the "living" designation.

I look at it forever. How do I click that space? How do I do this?

My tightrope snaps. Deeply. Achingly. All of me is torn in two forever.

I will never breathe again. How can I? It hurts. I am sitting here, crying, with no noise coming out and no air coming in, tears streaming down my face with my mouth open wide - a gaping hole that would expel my heart out of my body if it could. It hurts so much. Eternity passes as I become light-headed and faint.

I breathe again. Shallow. But I breathe.

Then I click "deceased."

And that is that.


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My life ended 10 days ago and then it started again.

Cory. The first time I met him and he told me his name, five minutes later I called him "Cody." And that is how we began, with me hurting his feelings because I remembered the wrong name.

Twenty years and 3 months and one day after that first meeting, he died. I can hardly believe the life I've lived in those 20 seems we packed an eternity of experiences - both good and awful - into those two decades.

We were engaged the day we met. Four months later we were married. Thirteen years later we divorced. Two years after that, we were married again. Four years (plus a little) later, divorced again. Ten months, three weeks, and five days later, he was dead.

The first divorce, I didn't know it was mental illness. One moment he was loving and the best man I'd ever known. The next moment he was scary and someone I was afraid to be around. He would apologize and I would believe him when he told me he would not do it again. I would immediately extend trust and we …