Monday, November 22, 2010


You’re not supposed to have favorites, but Ellie was Sawan’s favorite.  I always thought we had kept this a secret, but it came up when we were all around for the funeral.  Clearly it was obvious to everyone.

Ellie was my roommate when Sawan and I started dating, so she got to be around him the most and probably knew him the best of all of my family members.

In the first couple of weeks that we were together, Sawan and I were just hanging out at my house, and Ellie came in, having a meltdown.  She had had a really bad day, and to top it off, she had just dropped her keys down the elevator shaft.  We made a game of it.  Sawan had duct tape in his truck, and we made some sort of tool out of a broomstick and wire hanger and, ever the fisherman, he was able to “fish” out the keys from the bottom of the elevator shaft.  Later he told her, “I know we don’t know each other very well, but I give really good hugs,” and he held her while she cried and comforted her.   I think it was settled at that point.  He was the hero and she was his favorite.

Ellie moved to Baltimore when she finished nursing school.  She ended up having to ship boxes and move what little she could in her teensy Honda Civic.  Sawan and I were at my parent’s house the night before they left and he loaded the car for them, and got EVERYTHING in.  It was like tetris.  He was amazing at loading a car.

She moved back to Denver last winter, and she and I are roomies again.  I think she’s probably a big reason why I’m still sane.  I really feel sorry for all of my fam, for having to put up with me, but Ellie sees the worst of it.  You just never know what kind of day I’m having, never know what to expect, and Ellie rolls with the punches.  She’s ready to comfort if I need it, or make me laugh (This is what she’s best at.  We laugh A LOT.), and she has risen to the occasion when stuff happens like, oh I don’t know, the dog pukes on the bed in the middle of the night and I’m sobbing.  By the time I’m back upstairs from putting the sheets in the washer there were already clean sheets on my bed.  She’s amazing.

Ellie, thanks so much for being the roommate extraordinaire.  Thanks for putting up with me.  Thanks for making me laugh.  I love you.  Oh, and you’re my new best friend.  Call me every five minutes.
At Ellie's graduation, Spring, 2008.
 (Not quite sure what Sawan's doing in this photo...but it was the best one I could find...he must be saying "ta DA!")


  1. I just found your blog after searching Networked Blogs. I relate a lot to your words, especially in your bio. Your blog is a touching tribute to your husband and you are very eloquent in your retelling of your memories. I am a widow too, so I relate in many ways. But my husband left this world acting like a schmuck, so I also had some anger to contend with about his life and death. For me, the good memories have been the hardest to revisit. But it's been four years now, so I am able to look back now with better perspective.

    And I hear you about finding humor. Somedays a good laugh is what gets me by. Laughter is such a great healer...people who haven't been there don't even know!

    I'm happy to have found your blog! Thank's nice to find another person in the world that speaks my language!

  2. P.S. I hope it's okay...I'm going to add you to my blogroll. My readers who relate to aspects of my experience of grief, will no doubt appreciate your words too.

  3. Hi Noel,

    Is Ellie your sister?

    1. Yes! Ellie is my baby sister. How lucky am I?

    2. Hi Noel,

      I was Anonymous up above asking about Ellie:) Thank you for responding.

      I came across your blog while I was Google-ing "young widows." I lost my husband Jake a little over 10 months ago. March 5. He was 39 years old. I was 32, now 33. It was sudden as well.

      I started reading your blog from the very beginning. I am still in 2010, your England Adventure.

      Thank you for sharing your story.


      P.S. The phrase that bothers me is "you are so strong" or "I don't know how you do it." I know people have the best intentions, but those get to me :)