don’t blink

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.

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About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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10 Responses to don’t blink

  1. Kathryn says:

    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, sweet friend. If you need to get away and regroup, my door is always open. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be. You were so lucky to love and be loved by someone so special. True love never dies and part of him will always be with you. I am so glad to see your faith bringing you comfort and some Peace. We are not promised tomorrow but forever thankful for the many happy yesterdays and the promise of today. Sending big hugs and strength to get through the tough days ahead and hope for sunshine on your face in the near future. Don’t be afraid to lean on others a little bit. Those who care about you want to help and he would want you to let them.

  2. jerseechik says:

    Can you use the widow card to get someone to retrieve his password?

  3. foothillagrarian says:

    Thank you for updating everyone and for sharing this information. I am so glad you joined that church and are surrounded by people who love you and care about you. When the dust settles, and you need a break, holler at me and I will be available any time for talk and virtual coffee. Our family continues to pray for you daily.

  4. Jenanne White says:

    Just beautiful Peggy! So very sorry for your loss! I will be praying for strength and healing for you and your family. Love, Jenanne Baker White

  5. When I think of Terry, I think of St. Joseph the Betrothed. He was a carpenter. He was, in many ways, the ultimate believer. Mary was there when the angel spoke to her and SHE knew what she had and hadn’t done to get pregnant. But Joseph had to just BELIEVE that it was all going to work out with bizarre situation he was getting himself into. It couldn’t have been easy being the husband of “that mashugana girl who claims that God impregnated her” and the father of “the weird kid who just can’t get with the program”. But he DID it. He was their protector and provider. He was a skilled worker who did whatever it took to make sure that his family would be okay. He listened to God to get through situations with impossible odds stacked against them. Isn’t that just like Terry?

    St. Joseph passed away when Jesus was a young man, but by the time he died, he’d made sure that his son and his wife would be okay, no matter what. Mary could walk with her head held high and Jesus was proudly known as the son of the carpenter. St. Joseph was known all his days as a godly and hard working man who was dedicated to his family’s well-being. Isn’t that just like Terry?

    I can just see him and St. Joseph discussing family life, the smells of fresh cut wood, the feeling of triumph after a job well done.

  6. Michelle says:

    Thinking of you! Hugs and prayers headed your way!!!!!!

  7. Susan says:

    Just very sorry and sad here. http://youtu.be/Ti3EWCbtZGk

  8. Beth says:

    the love you and Himself exhibited for us to see was incredible. What a legacy for the boys! We love you muchly, Peggy. -Wednesday afternoon Prayer Group

  9. Judy says:

    I’m very sorry. Yes you can use the Widow Card–do use it. Also the Widow Brain Fog that will last about 6-9 months. It will all be all right, but not for quite a long time. Love–

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