Arranged Around

 

When my brother and sister-in-law arrived, it was confusing and surreal. They lived an hour and a half away. We hadn’t talked about them coming. They’d just seen Jeff the day before, yet, there they were, and I was grateful.

I don’t know what the inside situation looked like to them. (I’ve never thought to ask.) We went outside to get some air and talk and my brother asked questions I hadn’t even thought about. Did I know which funeral parlor? When was the funeral planning meeting? Who was writing the obituary?

I don’t know how or whom I got that information from, how the arrangements were made or by whom. I don’t even know who told my brother – it might have been me and it might have been the next day or the day after. It must have been Jeff’s dad, Roger, who had to do the arranging. I still vacillate between thankfulness and guilt for the protection.

Everything was arranged more quickly than I expected, which seems silly because I didn’t actually know what to expect. I wasn’t part of the planning for Sally or Nannee’s funerals. My father did not have a funeral – his choice. So, I had no idea how any of that happened, either.

The mandatory autopsy added a day.  Mandatory, because he was under 45 and died at home. Part of that investigative thing.

The medical examiner called me directly with the results. Nothing nefarious was found. The final determination was cardio-myopathy; not unusual in diabetics, and genetically-predisposed persons.

Par for the course of Jeff’s life, the call took an unusually common turn. I listened as the examiner offered personal condolences. He told me, he’d known my husband. As a previous pediatric patient, and fondly described him as a very sweet boy.

I came across this gem on Instagram. For anyone who’s looking, glitterandgrief is a lovely place to land.

Screenshot_20200108-175252_Instagram

I do wish social media had been more advanced than it was in 2006. There are so many grief-related groups out there for encouragement and support.

There were a few, back then. Specialized clusters of military support, specific sites for the loss of children, and for parents who now found themselves single. In straight-up widow groups, the relative ages of me versus them seemed an enormous gap. Of course, there are countless circles for young widows, now. Only, I’ve aged out of that group now, too.

Quote for the Week: 2020 01 14 Protection is always gift, except when it jakorte

 

He Would Have Laughed, Part 2 (graphic, dark humor, but it won’t get any worse than this…)

 

This is the last of my confessions. Mostly silent for 13 years; hesitant for dark humor.

At the time, not even an iota amusing. But, you know the bottom line as well as I do:

he would have laughed.

______________________________________________________________

 

Despite what should have been a series of solid physical confirmations, I still wasn’t sure.

I mean I suspected I was sure, but surely there had to be some way to be surely sure.

I needed to be absolutely sure. I didn’t want to tell the EMTs that he was dead if he wasn’t really dead.

After all, it had been getting harder and harder to wake him up, so maybe….

I couldn’t let them just assume he was dead and take him away.

I faintly heard the siren.

Desperation encouraged denial. I launched one final effort for conclusion.

 

I reached out and squeezed.

His stuff.

Hard.

Very hard.

Nothing happened.

Nothing at all.

Nothing. at. all.

 

That was the catalyst. My epiphanic moment, framed with the possibility of tarnished guilt, dully matted with automatic apologetic thoughts.

I believe I was rather rational. Calm, while mentally running through the untimed Sunday morning sequence of events from opening the bedroom door to believing in my own final absolute surety.

I relived it all – this short period of my life flashed before me like I was the one who’s life was ending.

That’s when my internal irrational being woke up and spoke up and slapped me.

A solid smack to the back of my head, snapping it forward, then back, as the blinking-red ticker-tape of panic resumed its scroll.

“Oh, my God. What if there’s bruising? They’re going to think I abused him!”

I hadn’t yet conjured a remedy for that, when the knock came.

“They’re here,” I announced and promptly hung up the phone.

Quote for the Week:2019 10 22 Death should ever be treated with irreverence jakorte