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I go looking for evidence of our partnership that’s not tied to a memory of me sleeping on two chairs pushed together next to his hospital bedside.

Nearly four years later, I sometimes type his email address in the search box in my Gmail.

Hundreds of results pop up, and I’ll pick a few at random to read. Me: yep it’s a buddhism thing I can break down Clark’s illness into one diagnosis (metastatic melanoma), one prognosis (between 4 and 14 months to live), three surgeries, three clinical trials, seven hospital stays, three doses of chemotherapy, and five weeks of hospice care.

Did he always know he was going to die, or did he think there was a chance?

Did he believe me when I told him stories of the people whose tumors had shrunk to nothing, seemingly by magic?

Clark and I met on the Thursday before Labor Day, August 30, 2007.

I don’t know exactly when we first said I love you, but the first email exchange containing the phrase, which he casually includes before signing off, is dated October 3 of that year.

Cancer had eaten away at his hip, attacked his spinal cord, and created a blockage in his large intestine that necessitated a colostomy bag. Clark: i should make her a mix tape Now I live with my best friend, Cella.

We then chose to stop trying to wipe out his disease and focus only on treating his pain. Some days I go to send her a message, searching for her name and the colored dot that accompanies it.

He barely remembered specifics the next day, but I still get a lump in my throat when I think about it.

We had this conversation three days after we returned home: In December 2008, Clark called my mother to apologize for the fact that I wasn’t going to be home to spend Christmas Day with them.

In nearly every conversation, there is something that releases the pressure from my chest by forcing a giant laugh. Me: yes i had soup and chips but whatever someone else has smells delish Clark: k just as long as you ate something how do you spell Bodasifa? He was hospitalized from November 11–19 and again from December 1–6. Clark: oh baby do not say sorry Me: i really was just exhausted! Clark: I totally understand i know you were so tired and I know that you want to make sure I’m going to be okay and safe and really makes me want to cry Clark: i feel the same way about you I want to always want to make sure you are safe and warm and comfortable Clark: and I didn’t mean to yell but you are so stubborn Me: no i know haha SO ARE YOU, for the record Clark died two months later. I listened to “The Ocean” by Sunny Day Real Estate, the song he heard when he imagined me walking down the aisle at our wedding.