And Then Everything Shifted

23 07 2013

Little did I know on the morning of March 17 that my world was about to crash. It was a gorgeous, sunny Sunday, Saint Patrick’s Day. I had addressed perspective in a couple of my previous posts, a topic that seemed appropriate in light of the book review I had done on The Sunflower by Floris Bakels, and that morning I had just posted ‘On Knitting Your Life.’

Perspective. It has a whole new meaning today, just over four months later. And I realize that the true meaning today is so different from the one I so glibly explained then, because my whole world has imploded.

It was to be a short run, getting back into the routine of training for a marathon–the third one in four years. Half marathons had become cop-outs, he insisted. Do it all or do nothing. So he went for his run. I decided to read, catch up on the news in the Sunday Press, and work on my Words With Friends. He didn’t come home the time I had estimated, but maybe he’d stopped to chat with someone, or possibly he’d had a cramp. I heard a siren at around three-fifteen and briefly wondered where it was and what it was about, but then went on with my reading. At quarter after four I was worried enough to get into my car and look for him. He was nowhere to be seen, and I could just imagine him showering when I returned home and laughing at me for my alarm. But there was something. . .

Home again, and still he wasn’t there. I took a breath and dialed the hospital. And that siren. . . but no, it wasn’t anything. The woman in emergency took my information, asked a few questions, and put me on hold, and then a man’s voice came on. A policeman. And I knew.

The rest of the day is a blur. A massive heart attack, no vital signs, no blood pressure, all this after several efforts to bring him back. They did everything right. But now everything is wrong, and it will never revert to the way it was.

Grief is a monster. It rears its ugly head every day, some days sinking its teeth in and causing excruciating pain. My husband is gone. Even saying the words out loud doesn’t make it seem real. Maybe time will heal, but I doubt that the hole will ever be filled in the way he filled it. My whole world has shifted, and it doesn’t feel right.

At the funeral my son-in-law said, “Death sucks.” That about sums it up. My hope is that I will be able to bring something positive to this blog in the near future as I look back at this dark time, but it’s hard to see the light while you are still in the dark. I hope the saying is true–“it’s always darkest before the dawn.” I look forward to the dawn.

I am blessed to have a strong faith, one that allows me to know my husband is in heaven and that I will one day see him there. Though that will never take away the pain of grief, it does give me some comfort, and I have witnessed firsthand the power of being on the receiving end of prayer for these past months. Family and friends are such a gift.

Here’s my advice: Cherish each and every day as if it is your last. If it’s not, you are truly fortunate.