He sat beside his wife and held her hand. By now he had gotten used to how light it was compared to only a few months ago. Back when she was still the woman he had married.
A time before anorexia consumed her.
That small worm of a disease had managed to slither into his wife’s brain and convince this once beautiful and vibrant woman that she was grotesque and worthless.
Countless trips to therapists and hospitals hadn’t been able to rid his wife of the corruption that brewed inside her.
Now, in the hospice, all he could do was sit and wait for her organs to fail. His wife’s brain had long given up the will to go on, but her insides still held out hope when he could not.
As he gazed upon her now translucent and sunk in face, he couldn’t help but feel guilt. If only he, or one of the therapists, could have convinced her how beautiful she really was, then maybe she wouldn’t have become the emaciated bit of flesh before him now.
But stronger than the guilt was the rage. Fury with his wife that he hadn’t been enough for her to want to stay alive. To eat. To stay with him.
Why hadn’t he be enough?
His last thoughts of his wife before the heart monitor finally stopped, were cruel and selfish ones, laced with regret the moment he’d thought them.
Now weeping and alone, he continued to hold onto her small hand, as he’d always done, unsure how he was ever supposed let her go.