Monday, December 25, 2023

Deafening Silence

When I have a missionary gone for Christmas, I set up their bear overlooking the soft Nativity.  This year, I put Aaron's there.  William had already wrapped pretty much all of his presents, but the one from Santa showed up on Saturday afternoon. It was like a knife to my soul.  

I don't even know which way to turn right now. I'm slogging through mud and unable to move. And then I'm pulling out the stupid supplies that kept him alive that we don't need anymore and getting rid of them. And often I'm in between. 

It's so strange. I'm fine, and then a minute later I'm not. I cry until there are no tears left, and then somehow there are still more.

The silence in the house is deafening. I keep looking at the clock to check if I need to do cares or meds, and then realizing no, I don't. I tell someone that I'm leaving, or going to shower, or whatever and please listen... Oh wait, there's no one to listen for, and nothing to listen to. 

Deafening silence. 

This hurts so bad; I have never felt such profound pain. 

But it was his time, and I knew it. I think I knew throughout the whole admission. It was different, I was different. We've come so close so many times, but I "knew" he was coming back. This time I felt things, I was more disturbed, upset, something? I broke down a few times. 

He had gotten tired over the past few months, last couple years. He still enjoyed life. He still smiled. But at the same time, he wasn't joking as much, wasn't playing as hard. We didn't have much laughter, although the smiles were still wonderful. 

So many people have reached out.  So. Many. People.

I have read every comment, every post. Each one has touched me and strengthened me, even while they also make me cry.

We are not alone.

Friends started coming Saturday morning as word got out. Yesterday both before and after church I was surrounded by love and embraces. Last night, about 7, someone knocked on the door. When we went to the door, there was a crowd on the lawn with candles. A violin started playing and they quiety sang, "Silent Night." I don't know how many people want to go out in the freezing cold and stand and sing to a grieving family.  It was so cold out, and it warmed my heart more than I can say. 

It's the little things. The facebook and instagram messages, the emails and texts, even though I haven't responded to very many at all; I read them all, over and over, even though I haven't responded to very many. The connections make breathing possible.

Several years ago a friend lost her girls in an auto accident. She told me that after four years, it didn't hurt every time she took a breath. I couldn't imagine. Now I don't have to. It is a physical pain.

He is Home. He is free.

But oh, I miss him. 

I keep playing various scenes over and over. 

When things went down on the 13th, there was divine intervention that I didn't even recognize until a few days later. When drawing labs that morning, I asked them to put in another line if they got a vein. It was a weird request. We had one IV and it wasn't being used at all, but somehow I felt a second line was a good idea. So they did. 

I wasn't supposed to get off work until 6, getting back to the hospital about 7:15 or so, but a schedule was changed, I got off at 5, and was back just after 6:15. 

At 6:30 things got ugly, but I was there, I wasn't with a client, and we had two good access points which was critical.  And he made it through that night.

But even though he started making improvements, was moving the right direction, I was still uneasy. I broke down a few times, once on my way back from dinner so I stopped in the meditation room where I took some time to face my fears and verbalize them.  I was trying to deny what was coming, but I think I knew anyway.  It was Monday evening.

Sometime, probably soon, I'll detail what all happened. But tonight, my head and heart hurt too much. Just know that it was definitely his time. The team did everything we could have asked for, and it was so peaceful. Meds that should have allowed a rock to have a heartbeat did absolutely nothing. 

His giant (it really was too big) wonderful heart was done. It was like watching a feather float to earth, or a golden ball roll to a stop. His wings were ready, my heart was not. 

“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” 
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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