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There are just some mornings driving into work that are much easier than others.. The hard days are the ones when a song comes on the radio and it just brings me to tears while driving. By the time I pull into the parking lot I have cried my make up off. Wednesday will be the one year mark that Joe passed away and I feel myself falling very fast into that black hole again. I can’t sleep, then I can’t get out of bed in the morning and when I finally get up I am running around trying to get ready. I pull into the parking lot at work and it feels like it takes a miracle for me to actually get out of the car and walk into the building, I sit at my desk with this blank look in my eyes, most of the time I am trying to figure out how did I just get here!!! I just feel so numb, I feel like it is happening ALL over again..
All weekend I have been having flashbacks of Joe’s last days, the seizures, the coma, falling out of the bed his last night and while I was trying to help him get up he is swearing at me.. which made me laugh so hard, because who else was going to help him back up. Then there was the last time he woke up to tell me he loved me and went right back into the coma. I’ll never forget waking up the morning he passed away hearing the awful “death rattle”, I heard that and just knew he was not going to make it through the day!!! There was the moment I watched Joe take his last breathe, I walked into the bedroom and as I did he took his last breath, I keep seeing that moment over and over again latly. My mom and our hospice nurse made me lay down and take a nap because I had not gotten any sleep the last two days, and they promised to wake me up if need be. My mom came and woke me up and as I walked in the bedroom he took his last breathe, he waited for me to be in the room with him!! His Mom was rubbing his feet and I just stood there frozen, crying and his mom looked at me and asked he is gone and I nodded and she just screamed but his feet are still warm.. and then she was screaming my baby NOOOO my baby!!! I couldn’t say a thing, I just stood there hugging her.. looking at Joe and thinking FINALLY he looks peaceful!!! I was devastated, a mess, but I couldn’t help but notice he looked at peace and the pain was gone from his face!!! I helped the hospice aid and nurse wash him up and get him dressed, he was such dead weight. Once he was cleaned up I sat there and talked to him, and just had my head on his chest waiting for him to reach out and rub my head!!! I remember the funeral director coming to get him and just standing in the doorway of our bedroom frozen, I couldn’t move!!! Joe’s youngest brother was coming home from Jamaica the night Joe passed away, he was going to cancel his trip but Joe insisted he go! He was with Joe every night, it broke my heart that he was not there when Joe passed. I think in a way Joe did that for a reason, he knew Jeremy couldn’t handle it. My in-laws, the hospice social worker, my mom and I were trying to decide if we tell Jeremy about Joe if he calls from his overlay in Pittsburg. I kept saying no, they all said yes.. so in my crazy head I was telling them that maybe he won’t be able to call cause his phone died or they were fooling around by the pool and the phone landed in the pool or he lost his phone.. all these crazy things.. EVERYONE was making fun of me, telling me to get a life.. don’t you know his phone was not working when he got into Pittsburgh.. I don’t know what happened but for some reason his phone would not turn on. When they all told me what had happened with his phone I told them that was Joe telling them don’t mess with my wife.. I can make things happen…. When I saw my brother in the law he thanked me for making his phone not work.. he said Joe and I had something to do with it because we both knew he couldn’t handle it. I don’t know how Joe did it but he found a way!!!
I still can picture myself sitting in the bedroom with Joe watching him sleep or listening to him talk to someone and all of a sudden he looks over at me with this happy look on his face and I can just see that his eyes are screaming to me “I love you”, he does not have to say a thing at all I already know what he is thinking. I just sit there hoping that he knows I’m saying the same thing to him.. so I tell him that I love him and he smiles and says “love you too baby”. Or I can picture being in the kitchen and all of a sudden he will be going “babe… babe….baby….” and I finally yell “what” and he goes “I love you”. He yells out “babe” like he needs something, but we have played that game so many times I know what to do!!! In the beginning of our marriage when he was not as sick, I would be trying to get out the door for work and he would be yelling “babe.. babe..” and I would be so aggravated cause I’m trying to leave and here he is laying in bed trying to get me to do something for him… so of course I would snap and yell “what”… and he goes “remember I love you and always will”. How could that not be the best way to leave your house in the morning? I never realized just how lucky I was, I had someone love me with their whole heart, unconditionally.. I didn’t always make it easy for him God knows I was a bitch.. but he put up my bitchiness and at the end of the day he would make fun of me..
I think back to how lucky I was to have Joe as my husband, it was not all great, we had very hard times before we were even married.. I don’t’ know how I stayed with him!!! But I am so thankful I did because I can honestly say I got the best of him.. We were only married for 3 years, but I got the best 3 years of his life!!! As awful as being sick was, it made him the man he had always wanted to be!! He was in a very bad place before he was diagnosed and as odd as this sounds we both always said we were thankful for the cancer because it made him the man he wanted to be. Not a day goes by where I don’t tell him I love him or miss him!!! I just wish I could say to his face or hear him yell “babe…. Babe… baby” one more time!!!