It Can Happen To You


You never see it coming. The pieces begin to fall. It all started with one phone call. Get up, it’s dad was all I heard that morning. Just getting home from work, I was exhausted. I thought my cell phone ringing again from the same number was just an “oops, sorry I forgot to tell you”. But far from it. 

The car ride felt like a million years had gone by. Replaying in my mind the words my daughter spoke. Call this person, make sure that person knows. In the midst of my fears, she took charge and made sure each child knew what was going on. All the while, I was begging for it not to be so. 

Walking in, I knew. It was too late. The man I married twice was gone. My entire life fell to pieces in one moment. One very long moment. Looking at his lifeless body, I could hardly breathe. This was a journey I did not sign up to take. I touched his cold lips, yearning for a smile to appear. Nothing. The man full of life barely stopped moving even in his sleep was lifeless. How, why, please no. This was the first and only time I had seen him still. This was the moment, half of me was gone. 

I have seen widows, been around widows and never thought I would become one. Just as each of us who are married thinks. We will grow old and die together, hand and hand. So not true. It is a big lie. Just about as big a lie as time heals all wounds. Nope, this one scabs over time and time again. The skin never reforms. 

A year flew by like an instant. Life, as my husband used to say, does not care that your lost your loved one, it continues and doesn’t care. I had seen this with my own two eyes, it pushed right through as if it were a freight train with a destination and a deadline. I stayed locked in my own cave unless I was ok for a second. Dealing with my own mind, trying to sort out the reasons. The answers were always just out of reach. But one day, I got a feel for it. 

I touched it. I crawled back to the land of the living. But by my own terms. To this day, I can shut down like a home without electricity. Closed off, void in the big world. Yet I try. It is the hardest battle I have ever endured. I know I will fight all the break down urges day in and day out. It coping, learning the new you. Seeing how small of a fish you truly are in the vast sea of urchins. 

I have made many strides since disastrous day. A lot of growing and redirecting. Even though I try my best to look for the positive in each moment, I still have to catch myself when a glimmer of hurt tries to get in my eye. I could not imagine a pain feeling any worse. I really hope I never do. I see unneeded pain every day in others. I wish I could give them my eyes for just one moment to see what it looks like from my perspective. Maybe that marriage could grow stronger, or that spouse would appreciate the other more. 

I do not know what tomorrow will bring me, but I do know time can change everything in a split of a second. Then and only then, will each of us understand the importance of the other, unless you listen to others advice. Don’t wait until it is too late and your words get lost forever. The only description I can give to that type of pain is I completely understand how someone could die from a broken heart. 

Love does not get buried with your lost loved one, a marriage might end at that point but the bond of love lives on. I used to say it will never happen to me, then it did. I am a lot better than I was 3 1/2 years ago, but I will never be the same as I was then. That part of my heart will always be locked away with only memories to share, guarded by the vows of love we made to each other on both of those days. Cherish them while they are here. After all, we are all just gifts to last only a short time. 



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