Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shock and Sadness

You never know when you're going to get that 3 AM call that changes your life or the life of someone you love or both.  You hear the phone ringing, you look at the clock, you grab the phone and say Hello.  The caller, if not an officer, is usually crying or on the verge of it.  You may not be able to understand a word that's being said but you are suddenly awake and alert.  Once the information is repeated in a calmer more settled voice, you process, react and act.  You throw on whatever you can find laying next to the bed, talk with your husband who is barely awake but knows something is wrong and then off you go.  The drive is long whether it be 1 mile or 50 miles and it's lonely.  So much is running through your mind.  How could this have happened? Why did it happen? What are you going to do?  How can you make it better?  Can you make it better?

You reach your destination, not really knowing what route you took to get there.  You walk through the doors, ask questions, find your loved ones and gather them into your arms.  Tears flow, calls are being made, questions are being asked, people you don't even know are telling you "I'm sorry for your loss".  How many times do you return to the room to say goodbye?  How can you leave him there?  Why isn't he coming home with us?  What are we going to do without him?  

As you open that familiar door and step inside, everything suddenly feels different.  Things are where you left them but one of the important parts is missing.  He will never sit in his chair again.  You will never hear him say, "Sit down, have a beer." or "Don't stay away so long next time."  There isn't going to be a next time.

So many decisions to make.  So many calls to make.  So many things to arrange.  So many, so many, so many.  The phone starts to ring and doesn't seem to quit.  What happened?  Can she talk?  How is she doing?  What are the arrangements? What can we do?  Tell her I called.  The story is repeated at least a thousand times and unfortunately it always ends the same way; he didn't make it, he's not coming home.

I am going to miss my brother-in-law; I've loved him for over 42 years.  I sure did get mad at him sometimes but I guess that's part of being family.  We are here for each other, my sister and I, her children and their families and our extended families; support, that's part of being a family too.  We are suffering through a horrible loss. I have faith and I know we will recover but right now it hurts a lot.

You never know when you're going to get that 3 AM call that changes your life or the life of someone you love or both.  Are you ready; when was the last time you talked or said I'm sorry, or said I love you?