28 days later (terrible movie reference but he would have laughed at my attempt to bring a movie reference into this). On June 12, 2018, just over 3 weeks from his 41stbirthday, my beloved husband died. It was so sudden and unexpected. He had been feeling a bit off for about a week. His mild discomfort rapidly turned to pain and in less than 16 hours from going into the hospital he was gone. I negated an autopsy. I am a doctor, granted a Vet not a human one, and do not feel that the knowledge gained would have helped me to heal. He died in my arms and I was helpless to save him. The nursing staff did everything that they could but without a human doctor available on site, there was little they could do either.
He was the love of my life. We dated as kids and went different ways as so many young couples do. We both found that we thought of each other often in the decade+ between then and when we reunited. I moved back home, and he found out on FB of all places and sent me a message to meet up and reminisce and so we did. It was like no time had passed between us, except we were older, and wiser and had this strange existence without each other for so long. We dated, moved in together, got married, we bought a house just like we hoped we would as kids but were too scared (and poor, and uneducated) to do so back then. It was wonderful, and we were so in love with each other and loved the life we were building together, everything. And suddenly, it is all gone.
It is so hard to just BE without him. I have gone back to work, and generally I am ok there. I have always been fairly good at separating my work self from my home self. Coming home is hard. Getting up in the morning is hard. Eating dinner alone is hard. Sleeping alone is hard. Watching TV without him is hard. It’s not that I don’t know how to do it, heck practically everyone can do these things alone. Mainly it is that I don’t want to do it.
I moved a lot as a kid and learned how to let people in my life go. That was back in the pre-internet, pre-email, pre-free long-distance phone calls in the continental USA times when you had to hand write a letter, buy stamps and know the address of the person you were trying to reach olden days; you know, practically in the stone-age. It was easier to lose touch with friends than to stay in touch so you learned to let go with empty promises of continued contact. This is different in so many ways. I know that those people are likely still out there somewhere, living their lives and hopefully happy ones. We had to separate because of my being a kid and my family had to move, and although that wasn’t by my choice, I always knew when it was coming. I definitely did not know my husband’s death was coming. And ultimately, I think that this kind of history makes it hard for me to develop lasting relationships, but that is a topic for another discussion forum! My dear husband understood my past, accepted me for it and despite it and all of the mess that it made of me. He loved me for who I am, not who I was. He was the best thing that ever happened to me. It is so easy to be worried that he will be the best thing for the rest of my life. I am ok with that one hand, but that makes for a very bitter sounding future.
We built a wonderful group of friends, old and new, and we are all like a giant extended family of misfit toys. I love them all dearly. But they can’t always be around when I need a shoulder, a hug, a comforting word or just a moment of silence in someone else’s company. I guess that is why I am here. I may be a very strong, courageous and driven woman on the outside, but I am a quivering, disheveled and broken-hearted mess on the inside. I know that this will get sort-of better eventually, and it is certainly too early to hope for that yet. I honestly think that sometimes I don’t want to be better ever. I was better with him, not without him. I had already lost him once, as a young woman, and now I am faced with being without him for the rest of my life. This was not what we had planned. This was not how our story was supposed to end. I don’t know how to put a close to that “chapter” of my life when he was supposed to be in the rest of the book.
My husband was a movie buff, a computer geek, and an all-around nerd but as a Vet, so am I. Two peas in a pod on so many levels. We were both raised in the faith and left it when general knowledge and worldly experience showed us too many gaps in the system that caused us to become disillusioned. At this point though, it leaves me with a large hole of what happened to him after he died. I like to tell people that he has become midichlorians (Star Wars reference for those who are not fellow geeks). He had such a powerful life force and this reference gives him both honor and a place to be. Somewhere is not quite the right word for where he would be but at least it is where I can potentially join him someday. It also gives me hope that he can be with me still as they are supposed to be everywhere and in everything. He can still be here to guide me if I can just try hard enough to feel him around me. Please just let me feel him around me. I miss him so much.