Please forgive me for not blogging. I’m sure you have questions. Sadly my husband of 14 years, Joseph, our family’s provider and protector died from a brain aneurysm last week. He was only 34 years old.
Let me be honest with you, I’m devastated, in shock and in some form of denial. When someone called me a widow I was heartbroken. How am I writing? Well writing for you brings me solace.
You see right before he died, everything seemed so normal. We dropped the kids off at school, I went food shopping and we did our normal routine. Within hours he was found unconscious and later declared brain-dead. I asked myself if I was there would he had survived. Why I didn’t see the signs? What could have I done differently? Unfortunately, there was nothing no one could’ve done. Even after knowing all that, I’m still questioning myself.
How am I dealing? It’s been rough. I can’t sleep at night. I force myself to eat and I cry almost every time I’m reminded that he’s gone. The irony is he’s all I want to talk about. It’s hard living in this house because everything in our bedroom is exactly where he left it before he died. I kept it that way. I can’t imagine moving his things. His bottle of water is on his end table. His gum is on his side of our dresser. He’d prepared his work clothes to be taken to the dry cleaners and they’re right where he left them. He was an old school military man raised by old school folks. You know how we military people are. Everything had to be freshly starched, lol.
His essence and presence are still in the house. I can still smell him. Even though he’s never coming back, I still respect his space and l sleep on my side of the bed. Before he died he did the laundry. I almost on instinct put some of his clothes in his draws. Maybe I’m subconsciously expecting him to come home.
This week I am burying him. I don’t want to go to my husband’s funeral. I can’t deal with the tears, the pain, the realization of our unfulfilled plans and the looks of sympathy. His funeral will be the last time we will see and touch him. When the honor guard hands me the flag that drapes his coffin and he’s buried is when I’ll may finally accept he’s not coming home.
After the funeral, when everyone is gone and I’m alone with my sons, I’m dreading his and my sons first birthdays without him. Then there are the holidays and our first wedding anniversary without him. I can’t help thinking about what could’ve been. Every year we had an annual family trip. This year, for some reason, he wanted to drive to Mount Rushmore. Y’all I don’t know why. You know me and you know I preferred the beach. I went along with it because I could see the excitement in his eyes. He planned the entire trip down to how much gas money we’d spend. That was the kind of man he is. I mean was.
My husband’s death has devastated to my sons. They cope in their own ways. My oldest is like me, reserved. He asks questions and then goes back to his space. My youngest is hurt, but needs to be around people who love us. We’re lucky. My husband has an amazing family and a group of friends and we have you who are helping us get through this trying time.
Why am I writing this. Well I want you to learn from our situation. Here is some advice you don’t have to take.
- Please discuss your end of life plans with your partner. Do they want to stay on a machine or not? Do they want to be cremated, etc? This must be in writing, especially if you’re not married.
- Ask for passwords from your spouse.
- Make sure your important paperwork is located in one place. I was lucky my hubby was super organized. He put his DD214 (military discharge papers) in one place.
- Learn about your spouse’s job benefits. Discuss ALL the options for your family.
- Do not make any important financial decisions if you’re emotionally unable to. You’ll make costly mistakes.
- Be aware of the medical costs. My husband was airlifted from one hospital to another and even with our health insurance, I’m sure our bill will be in the five figures.
- If you live in the states, check out what benefits you are entitled to, to cover funeral and burial costs. Go to benefits.gov. My husband, like myself was a veteran so his burial costs are covered. I still have to pay for the funeral.
- If you want to cry, cry. It makes you feel better.
- Seek grief counseling. We are!! They will give you the tools to help you through a sudden death.
- Finally, make sure you surround yourself with people who love you.
Thank you for reading my rambling, your kind words, your donations and your prayers. Eventually I will go back to doing what we do here because I need to. You guys keep me going. Again, thank you. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless and don’t forget to live and love too.
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