Book excerpt from Please Bring Soup To Comfort Me While I Grieve-
In the Blink of an Eye:
On Friday September 16, 2011, I was working in my office and looking forward to the weekend and spending time with my family.
I was having lunch with a co-worker when the call comes. Someone on the other end of the phone says “Your husband has been in an accident and it is serious.” “Oh my God,” I shouted as my stomach churned.
How could this be? I must get to the hospital. My co-worker, Elaine, says,“ I will drive you.”
On the way, I say to her, “This cannot be happening” I just lost my dad two weeks ago; this has to be a mistake. I cannot take any more bad news.
I am thinking that when I get to the hospital, he will be hooked to machines and have lots of tubes but he will be all right. He has to be all right.
I call my son Sean and tell him his Dad has been in an accident and it is serious. He responds, “I’m on my way.”
The doctor is there to greet me in the ER. He says,“ It was not an accident; he had a cardiac arrest and his truck went off the road. He is gone.” I want to say, “Take back those words you horrible person, I cannot breathe, I am in shock, this cannot be real” My son is there, his wife, Michelle, is there. We cry-We hug. We are shocked and confused. This cannot be happening.
They lead us to a room reserved for occasions like this. They tell us we need to say goodbye. Goodbye? I am not ready to say goodbye. I saw him this morning; he was drinking his coffee, he was reading the newspaper, and he called me twice this morning. He went to the gym. You do not die on your way home from the gym. This has to be a bad dream, take it back, and tell us you made a mistake.
My son has to call his brother Brian. He and his girlfriend, Lauren, are expected home later today to spend the weekend at our cabin on the lake; we would join them there on Saturday.
Brian says “You’re kidding” when he gets the call. Sean does not understand why his brother says that but of course he too is in shock, he cannot be receiving this call, he is just walking around his house not knowing what to do.
We are not there to comfort him, to hug him, to cry with him. He has to get home to see his dad. He calls his girlfriend and says we have to leave now. “My Dad just died” How can he be saying those words? How can he travel two and a half hours knowing what he is coming home to? This cannot be. This is all wrong.
The hospital staff and my daughter-in-law are calling family and friends. The hospital social worker says you need your family here. I am numb. I let them do what they think is best. We have to call his sister- Jane. They are very close. She will be in shock. When she arrives at the hospital, she cannot believe it. She also talked to him on the phone this morning. My brother Richard, my sister Patricia, and my niece Jill arrive to support us. No one can believe this is happening.
When Brian arrives from Boston, he, Sean and I go to see their dad. We do not want to say good-bye; we have so much left to do. This is my husband, this is their dad. How can we manage without this very important person? The idea of it is unimaginable.
What do we do now? Plan a funeral? How can we? This was not supposed to happen. My boys still need their dad. He is their mentor, their teacher, their historian. I still need him. I do not want to spend the rest of my life alone. We had plans for our future.
When we all got up this morning, we did not think we would be spending our evening planning a funeral. We are just being led through the steps. Are we really doing this? Or are we in a movie? Are we all acting? Will someone say “cut” and will he then be back? He looks fine….not a scratch. We tell him, “Get up, this is not funny, we need you.”
But that does not happen.
—from Please Bring Soup To Comfort Me While I Grieve
©Linda Andrews 2016