Death, Disappointment, Divorce, Grief, Regret

The Struggle is Real

 I never truly contemplated the idea of losing my husband. Not in the sense that he would just die one day and never be around anymore. We got a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Convinced myself that we had grown apart and that the grass would be greener on the other side. Huh! So cliché. We all think about it from time to time. What’s lacking in the relationship, what or who could make it better? So we venture out on a limb and write off 25 years together, chalking it up to a “good ride”. Ok. It’s doable. Kids are grown…it wont be so bad. Divorce is final. We make the best of uncomfortable situations as we continue to do things for our kids. Have lunch, talk about what we have going on in our lives, as if we really care. And plan a wedding for our daughter…whose going to pay for what and how. All the while, wondering what in the hell was I thinking. I just want to go home. But of course too proud to just say that out loud! Then you get that call. That call you often thought about but quickly dismissed for fear of jinxing life. The one where the person on the other line is asking if you are related to the man they ae calling you about. He has been taken to the area hospital, brought in 911. Now, being a Nurse and all, I was well aware of just what that meant, but superficially refused to acknowledge that at the time. Why were they calling me? His daughter was the responsible party since we were divorced. “We found your card in his wallet”. Hmm…ok…so he is not coherent. The drive to the hospital that night was one of tears and pleading. I hesitated calling the kids for fear that I would worry them for no reason. He would be sitting up in the ER saying, “what are you doing here?” Only when I arrived, they did not let me back there for over an hour and the fear started setting in. When I finally got to speak with the Doctor, it was “call your kids now”. They could not get his B/P up, he was on a ventilator and every med imaginable to help bring up the pressure in his heart. He did not want to be on life support. This I knew after 25 years of marriage. The phone calls to the kids were equally traumatic as I needed them to get here from 4 hours and 2 hours away. “Keep him breathing until they get here”…That was all I cared about at that moment. And when they all arrived and we gathered around his bed to say goodbye, he died before ever turning off life support. The saving grace at that moment was the choice was made for us. We left the hospital in shock and sadness. The grieving doesn’t come right away. It creeps in slowly over time. But the guilt and the anger…that comes right away! but never really let it sink in.

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