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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."
The table filled to the brim with food. It was barren and grey to me. Her unplaced place setting were glaring. Its gaze was more than I could bear. Fuck holidays
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Spazoola, I visited your page and read your blog and had to reach out.
I lost my husband in the same way. We had a really good day on Sunday...it was a pretty day. We worked in the house and got a lot done. But unlike your wife, Rick wasn't feeling well. I could see it in his face.
I suggested we call it a day. He went right into the bedroom, got ready for bed, and laid down. He went right to sleep. (Rick was a notorious insomniac. This was unusual.) Of course, I checked on him before I got into bed. I always did that. He had COPD...wheezed a lot. Pneumonia several times. But that night, smooth and easy breaths. The deep breathing of solid, easy sleep.
I got into bed and was up for a little while. Got sleepy, listened for his breathing again...smooth and easy...and turned off the light.
Next thing I remember, the alarm went off. September 23rd, 530 am. Its an aggravating sound, so I stumbled to it as I always do and beat the crap out of it. Stumbled back to bed and pulled the cover up...just a few more minutes of sleep.
But I looked over at Rick before laying all the way down. He was facing away from me with his head laying on his arm. He was in the same position as he was the evening before. I shook him gently...Rick? Rick? Nothing.
When I rolled him over...
I just knew it...I just knew it. There was a paleness so unnatural to him. He wasn't cold. He wasn't stiff. I jumped on him and started compressions. Don't know how long that lasted...I was in the twilight zone by then...trying to grasp what the crap was happening.
My daughters and grandson live with me. I started screaming for them. Screaming! Screaming!
My poor girls...what a ghastly memory. But we LOVE him. He was the center of our family. One big, sweet, lovable man surrounded by girls...and he loved it! They couldn't remain untouched by this...but I've agonized over making it worse for them...that day.
They called 911...put the woman on the speaker and she was talking to me...one, two, three, four...over and over and over. I'm in a daze pushing with all my might.
The paramedics came and lifted him off the bed to the floor. Put that compression machine on him and ran him out the door. Somehow, I brought him back...for a brief time.
Rick died 'officially' at the hospital. Doctor said, "Irregular heartbeat, thread pulse, but we just couldn't bring him back. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." But really, he had separated from this world from our bed. On our bed. I just couldn't registered all of this shit. How can this happen?
So we stumble out of the ER finally. The sun was out by then and the sky was so blue...so blue. How can this be? I remember thinking this, stumbling through the parking lot. Strangers staring at us as they walked toward the hospital. I'm holding onto my girls for dear life.
I wanted to scream at these people: HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP US!
Spazzola, I've tortured myself for 7 months now. I should have stayed up. I should have just taken his butt to the hospital...he didn't fall asleep like that normally. I should have KNOWN something was wrong. I let him go...I let him go. My Rick, my best friend, gone.
I KNOW how you feel. I know.
But let me point out some IMPORTANT differences in hopes it will help you. Your sweet wife was only 30, right? I assume in good health at that age. How in the world could you have suspected anything COULD go wrong? How in the world?
You, like I, were only trying to let them sleep...they needed to. Rick operated on 4-6 hours a night all 32 years I was married to him. I tiptoed around EVERY TIME he was asleep. He needed it!
But I, unlike you, had cause to check on Rick. He was 56, he wasn't well...but he wasn't near death...at least to my knowledge, but he had issues. Those issues should have kept me up. I should have taken him to the hospital.
I don't expect this post to be a 'magic' pill and cure your heart ache. But maybe it can give you just enough to know that you CAN survive this...I am surviving by the Grace of God...that is all I know. I am surviving. And at 7 mos out, I even have some good days...not great days...good days.
I don't know why Rick left...I couldn't let them perform an autopsy. I just couldn't stand it. I mean, what the crap did it matter anyway? Nothing in the world could bring him back to me...especially an autopsy report. Or maybe its just me...and my guilt...not wanting to know there was something I could have done that I didn't do. That I actually CAUSED it to happen! Does that sound horrible, Spazzola? It does to me. (I can't believe I actually said that...but its true.) I am so ashamed...so ashamed of myself!
I had a situation that should have made me act differently...you didn't. It wasn't the same...at least not in that way.
I will pray you find peace, Spazzola. Please pray for me too.
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