– I have to leave every three days. I need cigarettes, decent food, a shower, a drink. Taking eight hours is a luxury. A guilt laden trip to and from our house, but necessary for sanity’s sake. Sanity, the word is heavy, I carry it like a lodestone – attracting the saddest people, each one with a story – a story to tell, a story that needs to be heard about the loved one they are watching disappear. So I listen, I do not write their words, they are too sacred. I return to our room, to my vigil, to the rhythm of days filled with spoon feedings, turnings, changings, readings from your favorite books, your music, the music you created, and finally, most finally, the silence. Sometimes a nurse will join me outside, in the cold, for a smoke and a welcome break to the silence. I listen to their stories too, I do not write them down. I am not here to be a poet, to be a conduit for stories. I am here because this is where you are. This is where I need to be until it is finished.