Monday morning, Himself had a heart attack. I won’t go into the details, except that it happened at work. The doctors worked very hard, but given all the stuff, I believe he was dead very soon afterward, if not immediately. They did all they could with medicines and technology, and for that I am grateful because I had a little bit of time to process it all. You know, when you think of your own death, you say you want to go quickly and painlessly. but when it’s not you, when it’s someone you cherish, you kind of want them to go slow, so there is time to come to grips with it. I haven’t done that yet. Autopilot has kicked in and I am sort of mindlessly eating stuff that tastes like sawdust, if it can be choked down. A good friend stocked the fridge with bottles of smoothies, seeing how hard it was to eat.
I am a planner. I keep contingency plans for any situation. I thought I had one for this bit, and I guess long term I do.There is no handle for the howling emptiness I am feeling, from having half of me suddenly ripped away.
We are both…ok, rephrase…He was (and still is I guess, what’s the protocol for someone who isn’t on this Earth anymore?) a Believer. He was baptized when he was 9, having made a profession of faith. So I have the deeply comforting assurance that he is in Heaven, probably swapping carpentry stories with Jesus…or so I like to think. He loved to talk shop. All I know is that he is there, and one day I will be there with him. I know that in the grand scheme of things, life here as a human, imperfect and messy, is not even a blink of an eye compared to eternity, and one day I will see him again, when I see the Lord face to face. That is an enormous comfort and a ray of joy in the midst of all this aching sorrow.
Right now, this minute it is 5:19 am. I have been up since about 3:30 because sleep just isn’t happening right now. I tried, and it didn’t work. Tomorrow, when everyone leaves and the dust settles, I will sleep. There is a bottle of mild tranquilizers that will be employed about 30 minutes before his memorial service this evening. The very idea of sobbing and carrying on, while people will understand it and not think ill of me for it, is mildly mortifying. I would prefer to make my noise and mess in private, because that is where I will be able to really cut loose. Today it will be constant hugs and touching and thank-youing and politeness. It will be making sure food is hot and plentiful and the coffeepot is full and the trash gets taken out. I don’t have to do the cooking or anything, and probably don’t actually have to do anything other than sit in my chair and look pitiful, but that would be harder that moving around and keeping busy and not thinking about the days ahead.
I have a dear friend who lost her husband 4 years ago, who has been right by my side since the doctor told me Himself’s situation was very dire. She has been keeping notes and telling me what to expect next. She went with me to the funeral home yesterday to help plan the service and choose a box for his ashes. She is the music director for our church so was able to help with picking the music. I think that was the best part of it all, flipping through the Baptist hymnbook to find songs. Himself and I are members of a Reformed Presbyterian church, but he was (and still is, I imagine) always a Free Will Baptist. Logically I know what to expect today, but…how it will feel…that will take some doing. One foot in front of the other, that’s how it will go.
I keep thinking “I need to tell Himself I got this (thing) handled so he won’t have to worry about it.” Funeral stuff, life insurance stuff…those immediate necessities of life and death.
I guess maybe he knows and is giving me a heavenly “you go!” like he did when I managed a tricky navigational maneuver.
My handholding friend said I get to play the widow card for a few months, in the event of a forgotten payment or whatever. If they call and I say “Oh I am so sorry I forgot, my husband died (X) weeks ago. It won’t be too bad, as long as I can figure out the password of his computer. Usually he used the thumbprint scanner on it because it made him feel like James Bond. I am sure if household laptops came with retinal scanners he’d have one of those as well. The man did love him some technology. Most of our payments are on automatic draft and are set amounts. Even this early on in the drama I am realizing if you say “my husband just died” people will bend over backwards to help you out.
I hope, and I am pretty sure, that in the future I can take this awful experience and use it to help others in similar situations.
#4 has friends surrounding him. His teachers are giving him all sorts of grace on school stuff. #1 has his girlfriend here, #2 has his friends, #3 has his wife. All of our close family, both his side and mine, are here. We were all here when Himself passed away, standing by his bed and praying as the numbers stopped. It hurt like hell but I am so incredibly grateful he was surrounded by all of his children.
He is, and always will be, My Favorite Person, and I will miss him for this blink-of-an-eye.