You imagine that there’ll be a moment of shock, a pause where your brain tries to make sense of what just happened. But I heard it in his voice, in the sound of the way he said hello, and I was crying before he said the words. Pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to the liver. Pain management.

You imagine the stages, the ending. But I realized while walking the dog that there’ll be no hair loss, no head scarves. That’s chemo. That’s when you have time. That’s when you’re fighting. This…this won’t be that. I don’t know what it will be.

But we spent a somewhat lovely tearful afternoon yesterday sorting jewelry and talking about trips — to England, to St. Thomas, to Hawaii, to New Mexico. That silver and turquoise was from the Grand Canyon, your dad picked it out. That ring was from the little jewelry store in the mall, Dad used to go in and chat with the jeweler, Bob. That cross was a 21st birthday present from your dad. Those pins belonged to your grandmother. So many stories, I’ll never remember them all.

I guess I should go to work. I guess that’s what people do?