On Lisa’s Death

This is obviously going to be a very different category from my usual blogging. On October ninth I received a phone call from my wife’s uncle saying Lisa had died while visiting her mother in Knoxville, TN. Since then it’s safe to say that life has been a series of horrors befitting Halloween: she died on her birthday, for example, and there are circumstances surrounding her death that I shouldn’t go into on this blog but suffice to say they make a horrible development even worse. I’ve discovered such a thing is actually possible.

She died from an overdose. I’m awaiting, of course, toxicology reports from the medical examiner in Knoxville; since I’ve already been waiting some time now, I can tell you it’s a significant aspect of this nightmarishness, this waiting. I wouldn’t wish it on George W. Bush. Really.

This is without any doubt the most difficult experience of my life. I’ve been widowed before; Trish died from cancer in 1992. I never expected it could happen twice.

More fool me.

This page will contain entries concerning surviving the unsurvivable. It’s like climbing out from the wreckage of a plane to realize My beloved is dead and somehow God I’m still here—how? There’s no knowing. In these pieces and the draft manuscript titled Losing Lisa, my intent is to find out as well as to write about her life as she lived it from a perspective no one else had.


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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4 Responses to On Lisa’s Death

  1. Dear John,
    I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime now and I really enjoy reading your points of view. After I’m done with the housework, taking care of the husband and the children, I sit at my computer and look forward to reading your essays/blogs….I find them to be informative and enlightening…but Lisa’s death has stunned me to the core…..never in a million years did I ever imagine such a thing…

    When I met her in Dormont some many years ago (she was walking with you). I was so happy to see the two of you together. I really felt that the two of you made a good couple. I was so glad that you had found each other. I’m so very sad for you and I send you my deepest sympathy and prayers to you and your family. I look forward to reading more of your essays/blogs. I say to you write….write and don’t stop writing. You have something valuable to say – say it. People need to know it. People need to know the reality and the truth…..May God be with you and your family during this sad time…

    Donna Pasquinelli-Flinn
    Pittsburgh, PA

    • johnwylam1957 says:

      I just want to say thank you. There’s nothing harder than writing about her death. At some moments it doesn’t seem at all real, and then I’ll do the least tiny thing around the house when something will remind me of her and I bawl. No way around that.

      Lots of things are wide open right now but there’s no question re: continuing to write about this. The manuscript about her is, again, a surreal act, but it remains something I absolutely have to do. And it’s by no means the last writing I intend, either. BTW, I’m glad you like the blog; I was late to this party but got here in the end.

      Again, Donna, my thanks. The kids look sweet — big eyes. They did not fall far from the tree. Much Cheer (even in times like these) —

  2. I taught Lisa in high school. I loved her and so enjoyed her writing. I am so sorry to hear about her death, but I am touched that her life touched so many.

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