Years ago, I had started on a mom blogging journey while staying home with my four young children, but that came to a screaming halt, and I deleted everything. I regret it so much now and wish I would have used it to express everything I was going through. Not only for myself but for others feeling the same way I was and still do from time to time. So, Four years ago, our lives were turned upside down when my husband was in a terrible ATV accident. No one could have ever prepared me for that. Seeing him lying there was so hard, but he was breathing when I arrived at the accident; and I was in shock, but there was hope.
After meeting the ambulance at the hospital, a nurse came and got me, took me to a dark room with an empty bed, and asked me to wait for the doctor. My heart sank because I thought the only time they did that was when the patient had already passed. To my surprise, the doctor entered and said he was very much alive, but there was extensive head trauma, and he wouldn’t make it through the night. I felt nothing and couldn’t even process what he was telling me. Again to our surprise, he began responding and moving, so they took him in for surgery to remove part of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain.
Fast-forward two weeks; he spoke for the first time forward two weeks, and I was so happy. I began preparing for him to be transferred to rehab, and we were trying to find the best place we could. We were going to have him back! I went to sleep one night and couldn’t wait to tell our children he would be going to rehab and be off all the machines so they could come to visit, and that night, I woke up to a crash cart, nurses, and my husband flatlining.
What was happening and why? I could not even process anything the nurse told me as I watched them work on him for what felt like forever. I left the room with the nurse to call the family and was then informed that they had got him back! Thank god, I said, but it wasn’t what I thought. He had lost too much oxygen when he flatlined and there lay my husband’s body, but it was no longer him in there. I could feel the emptiness of the room as soon as I entered.
Even before they said the words, I knew he was gone. His body was alive, but he was gone, and now I felt the worst pain I have ever felt in my heart because instead of planning a visit for my kids to see their dad getting better, I would have to tell them he was never coming home! I will never forget the cries from my young children when I told them, and I couldn’t hold them tight enough.
We finished our time in hospice, and even though I knew it was coming, it still killed me when the nurse told me, “I am sorry, but he is gone.” I can still hear her voice and see her face whenever people ask about him. That was the official confirmation, but it still didn’t feel real. The ride home was so lonely and felt like forever.
I will never forget the days following his passing; it was like a bad dream I couldn’t wake up from. Every morning when I woke up and touched his pillow, it was like he had died all over again. I couldn’t shake this empty, lonely feeling even though I was surrounded by many great people I knew just wanted to help, but they weren’t. I didn’t want anyone around; I just wanted to be alone, curl up in a ball, and wake up from this horrible nightmare.
People often ask how do you do it? I do it with a heavy heart, and I keep going. Some days I don’t want to do a damn thing, and other days I have so much motivation I don’t know what to do with it. Either way, I know that my children are watching and how I react will always affect them no matter what I do. I will do my best and always keep going for them. I may need a day or two when the waves of grief hit, but I refuse to lay down and give up on life.
I want to say to those who don’t know what to say in these situations and honestly say nothing hurts the least. It’s a painful reminder when people react to us differently because of our loss, even though you mean well. Sometimes simply saying hi and treating us as you would have before our loss is the perfect outreach.
Last but not least, stop telling grieving people that it will get more accessible because it doesn’t. You get a new routine that no longer includes them, and your mind accepts that they are not going to walk in the door, but it never stops hurting. The waves of grief will take you to your knees no matter how long it has been.