Friday, August 13, 2010

The Room

He took his last breathe and was gone, it happened that quickly. I had to get out of that room, the room I had spent the last six days in watching him die. The room was filled with his family, my in-laws, the people I had come to know and love in the past two and half months. Trying to leave the room I was blocked by his father's legs as he knelt by his son's bedside, sobbing. Keeping my eyes on the floor, I raised my voice, "Move!" I couldn't get out of that room quick enough, Peter was not there anymore. I could no longer feel his presence; he was reunited with his mom who had died eight years earlier.

When I had walked into that room I was a married woman, I now burst through the door a widow. I walked down the hallway, not knowing where I was going, in disbelief he was gone. I walked into the meeting room where I had spent time visiting with family, saying, "NO,NO,NO..." I sat down wondering, what next. I walked back to the room where he lay looking so peaceful, I couldn't go in. I started towards the nurse's desk and fell against the wall, crying. One of Peter's nurses came, grabbed me by the shoulders and led me to a chair behind the nurse's station. Condolences already, I wasn't ready for this. We were supposed to grow old together; we were supposed to raise our children and enjoy our grandchildren together. I was not supposed to be talking to someone on the other end of the phone about donating my husband's corneas. Yes, he hadn't been dead ten minutes and I received "that" phone call.

My sister-in-law Maria came and found me, there was another phone call for me, "Oh God, who wants what now?" I was afraid to answer it, but I wasn't ready to go back into the room, so I did. Peter's friend Irene was on the other end, more condolences. We spoke for a bit, she shared a few stories about him with me, and then informed me she was heading to the Greek Monastery to light a candle for his soul. That conversation somehow made me feel better, we hung up and I started towards "the room".

Although I thought I was ready, I still couldn't go in. I sat down on one of the chairs that were lined up against the wall. My mind wondered...I don't remember chairs being outside his room, when did they show up? It must have been earlier when a lot of people came to say their good-bye's. My niece Amanda (Peter's side of the family) came and sat down by me. I wondered what was going through her mind; does she know what to say to me? Can she tell I'm screaming on the inside about how unfair life is right now? I look at her with tears in my eyes, I can see how sad she is when we make eye contact. I tell her, "He's no longer here, he's gone." She just nods and agrees, and that's all we say to each other. I don't know if she understood what I meant, I could no longer feel him with me. It's still very strange to me that I felt that so strongly. While sitting in the hallway my sister-in-law Lily came and told me my brother Rick and his wife Anne Marie were on their way up. They had been out of town and had no idea what had just happened.

I got up from my chair, not saying a word and headed towards the elevator. About half way down the long corridor, I ran to the elevators and waited, pacing back and forth. I leaned against the wall and just sank until my backside almost touched the ground. It felt like it took hours for them to walk out of the elevator. They must have seen it on my face because the first thing my brother said to me was, "Oh Susie...I'm sorry." He gave me a big hug, and then Anne Marie did the same. We started to walk towards the room as I filled them in on everything that had happened in the past couple of days.

I've started writing, it has helped with the healing process. I'm hoping to make it into a book someday. Last Sunday it was the four year mark, it was a very difficult day. The fog has lifted so I feel more of the pain, I guess that's a good thing, it is a process after all. Last night while watching TV, a woman who had lost her husband said, "I miss how much he loved me," DING, DING, DING...that sums it up! The kids are doing well, they have enjoyed looking at pictures and watching videos these past few weeks. We're getting ready for school...the countdown begins!!

Until next time-

Take Care,


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