2003-03-26| 5:47 p.m.

The death of a human being, they're going to call it. Whether it was in her sleep, in the hospital, whether those cigarettes finally killed her like we said they always would.

But I'll be the one to tell you she started dying a long time ago. I'm not even sure how. Slowly draining away, day by day, little by little. Coming home and seeing her a little more gone, a little more less than I knew how to reach.

I don't like being the pillar. I wonder how along the way I became impassive, unfeeling, so strong.

So strong like the way I can't stop crying, or breaking down. That kind of strong.