Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lights in the Dark

January 29, 2009. I'm not sure those numbers will ever be just numbers. Six years ago today my whole world shifted on its axis and flipped upside down. All that was important suddenly became of no importance at all. For months, time seemed to have come to a screeching halt.

I remember very little of the weeks following that day but I clearly remember lying on the sofa that morning, in my living room and feeling disconnected and as if I had been transported to an alien world where I didn't know how to even sit up. Looking back I know I was in a very serious state of shock. I remember saying, "Please come home" over and over, for hours, for days.

You hear about shock in the movies and how it can actually kill people. Jerry had a violent heart attack. It was not a peaceful death. That morning, I wouldn't have cared if it had killed me. As it was, I felt crushed by the mountain that fell on me and I couldn't breath. I clearly remember not being able to breath.

Today things are clearer, well, not the weather. It is windy and a day that began sunny is now overcast. The gloom of my life has lessened but not the hurt. The hurt never goes away. The disappointment is always there. The 'things not done' will never be done. The lost memories are still lost. And I still sit in this house at times terribly and depressingly alone. The plans we made for our life melted away more quickly than the snow that buried them that night.

If you live long enough, you will live through the death of a parent, a spouse, or a child. I will tell you the death of a parent does not compare with the death of a spouse and I suspect neither compare with the death of your child. It would appear that each one is worse than the last if they occur in that order. Or maybe I was just more traumatized than most.

I do not see the world through the same eyes. I often wish I did. The eyes I had then saw farther and the road ahead was sunnier and filled with exciting things for the two of us. Now,  I do not see beyond today. I don't look for silver linings or sunny days or exciting things. I look for my glasses. I look for something I put away but now can't remember where I put it. Tomorrow very well might not come. I don't look for it. I don't have any plans for the future. I don't really have any interest in making any. It is why sometimes, the day slips by virtually unnoticed by me.

If all that sounds horrible and sad and mentally disturbed, good. You need to know that is what happens to people who live through real nightmares. They get lost. Maybe some of them find their way out. I haven't. I've had to learn to live in this land of haunting images and sounds. The sound of Jerry's wedding ring as it ran across those headboard railings during his attack is one I will never forget. The sound of the silence when he stopped struggling forever echos. I will never forget the look of eyes that no longer smiled at me.

Fortunately, I've been blessed with some wonderful friends. Today is not a good day, will never really be a good day but I spent it in the best possible way - with friends, talking about writing, computers, and life. Sometimes, no matter how dark the road, a little light... or two can can push back the gloom.


  1. Six years since I first heard your name. I see Jerry's photo and notice his wedding band. I only met him through your memories. I felt on the outside edge of two sets of pain in 2009, as my sister acquired the "widow" title three days before you did. I pray I'm able to provide some sort of support for both of you.

  2. You have been a greater friend than you know. You and Jilly were lights in the dark. As were so many of my Multiply friends.

  3. I was thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you would spend the day. I am so cross with myself that I didn't make it to comment then. Jerry was such a handsome man and like Phyllis, I noticed the wedding band.

    I still can't begin to understand what it was like for you and how it still goes on. Despite you writing so descriptivly over the years of your pain, it is still unimaginable. All I can do is listen and try to be a friend.

    I think I have told you before that your experiences have made me stop and think so many times when I have been angry. None of us ever know what is coming around the corner.

    Sorry Cindy, I'm waffling. I guess I don't know what to say except I am as sorry now for the loss of your Jerry as I was 6 years ago. xx

  4. I'm so sorry. I met you after he was gone. And even though you are doing some really good things, the pain is still raw. I know that this is a very difficult time of year. I wish there was more that I could do.

  5. You three, have been with me for a good portion of this trip. You all have been the lights on the way. I could not have survived this without the people who were in touch with me almost daily online. Each one of you are so special and have places in my heart that you can't even begin to guess. Thank you, for hanging on to me.

    I still have the ring, by the way. I was going to leave it on him but I think, at the time, I just wanted something I could hang on to. I wore if for nearly a year, either on a chain or on my finger. It fit my first finger perfectly. Oddly enough. Whenever he sized a ring for me, he simply used his pinky. My ring finger was the size of his pinky. His ring finger was the size of my first finger.