Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Kevin takes me in the fire truck to drive up to the house. If we hurry, we can get there before the coroner takes him away. If we drive slow, we can be sure to not cross paths. No. I want to hurry. I want to see with my own eyes. I feel like I need to see James and see his physical body before his spiritually leaves for good. It was something I was positive I wanted to do with my mom too. (When we knew she was close to death, I had decided that absolutely wanted to say goodbye to her once she had died. I had just gotten 'off shift' being with mom about midnight. I had time to drive home, see James, cry about being so close to losing my mom, whine to him about something else petty, push him away when he tried to hug me, and THEN I get the call from dad. When he got home he did a couple things and then checked on mom. And she had died. And back James and I went back down the mountain to their house. I walked in that house, prepared to see my mom's body for the last time. I got as far as the kitchen and lost my mind. James came up behind me, and said "You don't have to do this." Dad then asked James to double check mom, as he's trained also as a fire fighter and paramedic. And he did.No problem.Relief. My Marine is home. I can lean on him.) That said, I still feel I should have seen mom.
So, yes.
Get me there before the coroner leaves... please. I couldn't do it then. I must be strong enough to do it now.
We didn't make it in time. The unmarked white van we passed about 5 miles from home should have clued me in.
What are you supposed to do when your husband dies? Grieve- I know. I get that. But... like beyond that...when you come up for breath between crying fits. When there are 5 minutes between sobs and 5 minutes before friends are over to be by your side. For those first 5 minutes... what do you do? In the hurricane of death, there is a secretly quiet, peaceful place in the eye of the storm. There's nothing you can do but be.
Soon Stacie was here. She said I needed to call for back up. This was the time. She said I needed to call B and ask her to come. I said I won't have to ask. I can't remember if it was by phone call or text, or combination, but I got as far as telling B James has died, and nothing more. And she told me she was on her way. THAT'S what friendships should be made of: the unspoken.
My inner circle of very close friends (who live close) were here shortly after. They brought food and wine and their presence. They brought with them the acceptance of sorrow and no expectations. They brought with them their strength, so I didn't have to be alone when I told my girls their daddy died this morning.


Joannah said...

I'm sorry you didn't have that opportunity to see him before they left. I was with Michael when he passed. It can be a very quiet and sacred time. The next day we went to the funeral home to make arrangements, and I had to ID the body prior to the cremation. His sister approached the body, touched it and kissed his forehead. I did not. I just felt like that wasn't him anymore. He was elsewhere dancing with the angels.

I'm thankful that you have wonderful people in your life that rushed to be by your side during all of this. I did, too.

KER said...

i am glad you had the support of much is unspoken yet communication occurs...sorry you didn't make it in time...