It has been eight and a half years and I still vividly remember my last night with Kathy. It was a Monday night and we had stayed up until 10pm practicing a trumpet/piano duet for church, where we were scheduled to perform the next Sunday. Our music was echoing throughout the house and keeping the kids awake as they lay in bed. We were on our Christmas vacation so there was no need for an early bedtime. We practiced for a bit and then headed to bed happy that we were able to get a good practice completed.
That night I remember Kathy rolling over in bed at exactly 2am and pressing her back up against mine with a feeling of love that I will never forget, as that was the last moment that I had with Kathy alive. At 6:30am I was in a state of sleep where my eyes were closed but I was aware of my surroundings. Kathy had made an exhaling noise that sounded exceptionally weird.
I abruptly opened my eyes and tapped her arm just hard enough to see if she would respond, but not hard enough to wake her up. I just wanted to verify that nothing weird really happened. No response. I tapped a little harder but she still did not react. Then I pushed her to wake her up and it felt like I was pushing dead weight. Panic struck and I jumped out of bed so that I could see exactly what was happening!
Immediately I noticed that her eyes had a glassy look to them and she definitely was not breathing. I grabbed the phone to call 911, then picked her up and placed her on the floor to begin CPR. It only took the ambulance 10 minutes to get to my house and the first responders continued CPR for over 30 minutes until Kathy’s heart began a soft beat on its own. At that point she was transferred to the hospital where she never gained consciousness and did not survive through the next day.
I stumbled through life over the next few weeks feeling like I was a glass window, shattered by hurricane winds, and was being blown in every direction. Being left with five young kids forced me to keep the daily schedule mostly intact, but internally my heart was paralyzed from grief. I was referred to the previous young widow forum and I found a sense of comfort from my new club members. Night times became more tolerable as I read through posts and realized that I was grieving normally.
Through this forum I have met many widow/ers, several of which became my lifeline while I was grieving the hardest. It is my hope and prayer that you find this forum as comforting and helpful as I did.