My former husband, Don Miller, died this morning, Saturday, May 1, at 8:34 AM in the city we always lived, New York City, Manhattan.
He was in a hospital, and the nurse called today to give us—me and my two daughters, Chrissie, who lives here in New York City, and Diana, who flew in from Los Angeles—the heartbreaking news. They did say his passing was natural, as his organs failed him. They had kept him very comfortable, and we were told he never felt pain. There were no decisions to make, and there was nothing that could be done. The finality of death is so chilling. I felt so sorry he could not have lived longer and had to pass this way.
We had been married nearly 17 years when we divorced, and dated two years before that. Our parting was sweet and amicable, and neither of us married again. We stayed close friends, and he was at every family holiday or birthday gathering. We mainly talked about our two daughters and how much joy they brought us.
My heart is full of grief. My crying and sadness comes in waves. My mind is flooded with memories of the life we shared together, and those memories are running in my head like a movie. Almost all about the happy times.
When I saw the bad aspects of the monstrous April 26 full moon, I was fearful, but remained optimistic. The moon on April 26 appeared so late on Monday night, so close to midnight that it was almost Tuesday when it showed full in the sky. I told myself if he could make it to the evening of May 1, he would be in the clear. He did not make it. Don was born a Scorpio, October 26, so the April 26 full moon and transiting Uranus were directly opposed his Sun.
Don was a good person: honest, ethical, kind, and soft spoken, and he had a lovely intellectual side. He loved to read, and he loved jazz. When he couldn’t ride his bike, he took the bus, read the New York Times, and shopped for his own groceries in Key Food. He lived in a four-story walk up and even when ill, he kept going up and down those stairs.
Don had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a degenerative disease, and in the end his ability to do simple things that you and I take for granted—stand, walk, chew, swallow, or speak normally—became heartbreakingly difficult for him to do.
Don had been hospitalized in early April, and it was the first time he had ever been in a hospital. I began running back and forth to see him, but COVID required the visits to be short and far apart, which was frustrating to all of us. We understood the reason for the rules, but I was afraid he didn’t realize we wanted to see him much more often.
After two weeks, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center nearby to help him regain his balance for standing and walking. Before he was hospitalized, he had lived alone and was fully functional, but in the past few weeks I was horrified at how suddenly he was declining, and it must have been hard for him to accept, too. He would have good days and bad days. His doctor felt he needed to be back in the hospital, but hours before the transfer was to happen, on April 30 when Uranus directly opposed the transiting Sun, he had a heart attack and never regained consciousness. They did transfer him to the hospital, but after two days this week, he died there.
I am wracked with sorrow that he had to have his life end this way. Ever since we met, he was very into fitness. He used to run every morning around the Central Park Reservoir. He did that for years and would ride his bike everywhere—before it became cool to use your bike in New York City.
After he retired, Don had taken college courses in philosophy, religion, and poetry before Parkinson’s changed his ability to take any more classes. He had done a lot of volunteer tutoring of disadvantaged children. He lived modestly, never extravagantly, and was giving, genuine, and gentle. He enjoyed all the arts. He loved our daughters intensely, and they loved him back with the same intensity.
Good-bye Don. You will live with me and our children forever. We will always love you.