Or was more than his body responding? Since, as the doctors told her, the white and gray matter of the brain had already mingled — “he’s already gone ” — probably it was just a sense-reaction common to coma patients.
Yet, anyone who has lost someone in this way knows the deep, deep longing for any sign whatsoever from the suddenly lost focus of love. Only the love relationship matters any longer — indeed, the nature of love itself. Any argument, any strife, abruptly vanishes like Prospero’s” cloud-capp’d towers.”
In a purity of feeling known possibly only at one other time, a baby’s birth, we see the real love that is at the core of all the squabbling and making-up we usually call love.
It is the real nature of love that sustains Maryanne through the book, through the year to come — the loss, the pain, the strange discovery that John’s pension (I doubt that ours in the United States are this sensible and generous) and other sources of money, such as insurance, will allow her to live without having to work.
John’s death has bought her the freedom she had just told him she needed to write. He has given her that way to do what she wants to do. And yet, the prize that every writer longs for is at the expense of the life of her beloved husband. This is a source of deep distress for Maryanne, and could only have made the long first year more difficult in many ways. But the creative entity creates, and Maryanne used the time and money well. She produced not only this book, but also many other projects, now available at her site, Pinkgazelle.com. Other women might have simply given up and wallowed in grief and despair.
After a distressing discussion with the hospital’s transplant team as to whether Maryanne would allow John’s organs to be transplanted into dying and ill persons who desperately needed them (she allowed his organs to be used, though not his skin) — after the immense grief of John’s parents combined with the (to his wife) odd rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church such as anointing his body with oil, and after Maryanne’s final farewell to him — John died.
Maryanne felt enraged at John’s Greek Orthodox Christianity, since his faith had refused him the right to be buried in that church unless he married within it — which Maryanne, a Lutheran, would not do. Suddenly, the church changed its mind and agreed to allow Sam/John to be interred under its auspices.This seems to be the moment when anger becomes a tool to help Maryanne/Adri through the strange and terrible time ahead.