That Day

by Maria

I lost my husband 76 days ago from a massive pulmonary embolism. We had been together 7 years. He collapsed on our anniversary. From that day, family and friends have told me they cannot believe how strong I am, and they are amazed by my faith that God was meant to take him. I did accept that. That he was at peace and I made a big effort to hold on to the night before he passed.
Those moments where he was smiling and so excited to see me and tell me how amazing the helicopter ride had been. He had never flown before. They had flown him as they told him they were going to do a surgery to remove the clot but when he got here, they changed their minds. They told him he was lucky that the clot appeared to have passed through the heart without causing any significant damage. They were happy with his progress and he was doing well – the doctor told him “you are a very lucky man.” My husband told the doc, “luck had nothing to do with it – It was God.” He had such a joyous expression.

But now, I feel I am in one of the lowest points of grieving thus far. People who were there for that first week have “lost touch with me.” They call, make plans with me, then at the last minute cancel. I started swimming and walking to keep my mind and body going. But I forget to eat. I do go to counseling actually twice weekly as this whole situation has brought out some issues from my past as well to contend with. I cannot seem to move forward from “the details” of that morning though at this point.

I wake in a cold sweat at night every 1 to 2 hours expecting the morning to bring me bad news like it did that day. That day at 7:10 a.m. will not leave me. Ring Ring: “Hello?” “Hello Mrs. _____ this is Amy a Resident at the hospital. “Mrs.___ are you sitting down?” “No I am lying down what is it, what happened?” “Is there anyone there with you?” “No, no, just tell me for God’s sake what has happened?” “Your husband put the call light on this morning and when the nurse went to check on him he stated his chest was hurting and he became hypoxic. He then went unconscious.” “Oh my God, Oh my God…are you telling me he is gone?” “Well no, we are still working on him – how soon can you get here?” “It is an hour and a half away.

Oh my God, you people assured me us he was stable and actually out of the woods last night. You told me you were transferring him to a regular floor as soon as a bed became available. I would never have come home to rest if he was unstable.” “Well, I am not sure, let me see how it’s going.” She walks into the room with me on the phone and I hear. “Third amp of Epi in, grab the echo lets get a picture of his heart, we’re not capturing a rhythm, oh wait there – he is in PEA…is the TPA on board yet? Yeah? Ok, let’s get that echo.” I hear laughter.

“Oh my God, I cannot believe you are having me listen to this and now I hear two women giggling…I am irate and screaming is this some kind of sick joke? What’s going on there? Am I hearing things? I know I just heard people laughing.” I hear her shush the individuals and then she returns to talk to me. “I’m sorry Mrs. ____ sometimes people in difficult situations nervously laugh. “I cannot believe this, why did you call me and have me listen in like this? I hear someone shout, “He is in PEA.” I lose it, “did he just say PEA? She says, “um, yes Mrs. Fike, PEA stands for pulseless electrical activity, it means…” I interrupt her. “For God’s sake you people knew I am a nurse!” Oh God, PEA…you don’t recover from PEA. Is it because you know I am a nurse that you are having me listen to all this?

I would NEVER do this to a family member! Why did you call me like this? Did you need me to tell you his wishes – he made that clear should anything happen he did not want life support if something should happen. Oh my God, please don’t do anything to cause him anymore trauma if you are seeing no hope.” Again, I hear them shouting in the background. “TPA in, echo, right sided failure wall motion is… I hear her walk from the room, “well I’m sorry Mrs. Fike do you want to talk to his nurse? Would you like me to hang up and call you back…um, do you think you will be coming up here?”

I scream at her…”I cannot believe you just had me listen in on my own husband’s code, of course I’m coming up there. I am hanging up now. I cannot take this all in like this.” I hang up. I am terrorized, traumatized and in shock I walk around in a daze and then call my mom to have my sister come get me – I at least realize know I should not drive in this state.

The nurse calls me back at 7:30 a.m. “Mrs. Fike, it’s over…he is gone.” I fall to my knees sobbing, now, I have to tell his kids… The day is emblazoned in my mind. I want to move through it but I am stuck there. I miss him every second of the day.

Comments for That Day

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Nov 15, 2010
I Feel your pain
by: Jess

Oh how I feel your pain, My husband who was 46 years old died of the same thing. I remember the morning he collapsed. I remember it all, the 2 days in the hospital, the hours of praying, of asking God "please, please, please don't take him." Of the day that I decided to stop life support, of the Drs all sitting around a table, telling me his chances of survival were 6%.....I hold the look in his eyes with me forever, the last words he ever said to me "Babe, I love you. Everything will be alright." It's horrible the things our minds hold on to.

But, let your heart do the talking, let your heart hold on to the love. Because it is still there, it will never leave. I have learned that. There is no one that can know exactly what you are feeling, but there are those of us who have been through it, are going through it and trust us when we tell you....there is no pain like it in the world, and there is no way to stop it. You have to let your pain out, let it wash over you and ride the waves.

But, it does become easier, I know that you are reading this and saying "how?" I said the same thing 18 months ago, when others would tell me that. They are right.

I remember his love, his words, his smile and I smile. He was happy, he loved life, and he had some of the deepest faith I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He is with GOD and he is taking care of me that way. I trust him, I trust God, and my work here is not done. Please stay true to you and your love. Don't let anyone tell you how to will happen in your own time. I am here for you.

Nov 15, 2010
That Day
by: Zoe

We all have that day. It echoes with us. It leads to the what ifs, should I have, maybe, if only, and all of the other thoughts that play through our brains.

You were on the phone when your beloved was taken, I was with my beloved John when he was taken. There is not one that is easier or better, the fact is that our soul mates, the love of our life was taken from us, and that moment, when they leave, you leave with them, and it will play repeatedly.

There are those who deal with this stronger and better, I cannot tell you that it gets better. I can tell you that it gets less frantic. People are not around, they do not want to be around us, and they do not know what to do with our pain. But then again we do not know what to do with our pain. You were one, now half is gone; the question I ask myself, what half of me is left. I do not know.

I do know that this site has kept me here. We have a saying here, one breath, one step, one day at a time. That is all we can do. Even those who have lost their beloved for a longer period have days when that is all that they can do.
Therefore, when you hear that conversation in your brain, put your head down, take one-step, one breath and just deal with that day.

In addition, come here and talk. We are always here and we always listen.

Nov 11, 2010
I was there
by: Jen

HI Maria,

My name is Jen and i lost my 41 year old husband to cancer nearly two years ago. I was troubled in a terrible way with flashbacks of suffering and awfullness.

These do settle in time and i mean in time. The thing is that in this process there are no time limits on any part of grieving. Its all in our own time.

Maria, it's really early days for you and every detail is a raw memory of despair. I never would have thought i would be were i am now altho i have many down days.

So many good memories, im sure you have and eventually you will see these again i promise you. Till then deal with life on a moment to moment; its all you can do. I know you will get there wherever that is, but its going to take a lot of time and patience and soul searching.
This site is full of wonderful people. we are here always...

Keep writing


Nov 11, 2010
I wish...

I wish that I could pull those awful memories out and replace them with the warm memories of your Love. The times together that reminded you how much you loved them and why. I suppose it is what we are all trying for here, to find some peace and let the good memories override the bad.

I can remember all the bad hospital days and the day that he died with acute accuracy. One day I hope to push all that back and remember instead the moments that I fell in love with him over and over again. I also try not to put him too high on the pedestal, as he was human and we did have our "divorce moments" at home improvement projects.

Its all memories, good and bad that we must somehow file away. Part of our past as we greet the future.

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