On July 10th Gene and I had a really good morning, I took care of the medical things that he needed, and we decided to relax and watch videos. We were talking about going to Morro Bay California, we had not been in a while. We snuggled on our bed and held hands and then we had some company, Gene’s sister came by and visited and it was an overall good morning.
I was getting Gene up to go to the restroom, he was using a walker at this point as he was still weak from his hospital stay that ended four days prior. While Gene was in the bathroom I was going to change our sheets. I sat him down and turned around and walked out of the bathroom and into our bedroom. I heard him tapping his walker on the floor to get my attention, I immediately knew something was wrong. I actually hear that sound in my head a lot and it rattles me to my very core. I asked him what was wrong as he had his hand up to his face. He pulled his hand down and blood was pouring out of his mouth and nose. I instantly panicked and ran to grab my phone that was about 5 feet away from me, I ran back to Gene while calling 911, I was holding him and he was staring into my eyes. He was going limp in my arms and then the operator answered my call, I was screaming that my husband was dying. Gene looked at me until he took his last breath, I gave the dispatcher my address and he told me to start CPR. I pulled Gene off of the toilet and laid him on the bathroom floor his head was on my bedroom carpet. I leaned down to give him a breath and realized that i had to change things up because he had a tracheotomy, I gave him a breath through his trache. At this point the dispatcher told me to not worry about breaths, to just do compressions. At this point I am covered in blood from head to toe. I start compressions and Gene’s ribs are breaking (I know this happens but when it is happening it is horrifying) I am screaming, so the man on the phone is telling me to count my compressions, he tells me “you are doing a great job” and I am seeing no response in my husband. I did CPR for six minutes before a sheriff showed up. He asked me if i had gloves I told him where they were and he told me to go wait out front for the Paramedics.
I don’t know how long it took for the paramedics to arrive as time seemed to stand still. I called Gene’s sister and then I called mine. I went back to the bedroom and the sheriff told me to get out and wait out front. I knew my husband was gone, he passed away at 1:52 pm, yet I held out hope that they could bring him back, since I couldn’t. The medics arrive and rush to the back of the house, after quite some time a man comes out and tells me that they could not revive him, a doctor was going to call time of death over the phone and they were not going to transport him to the hospital. He walked back to my room and came back a moment later, he told me they got a slight pulse from the medications they pushed, he also said don’t get your hopes up, but the doctor wanted them to transport. They wheeled him out, his eyes were open and at that time I fully understood that he was gone. My mind couldn’t respond my body felt physical pain, I knew my life had been altered in a single moment.
Gene’s sister drove me to the hospital, we had to check in and get through security before we could go back into the ER the wait was excruciating. We went through the double doors and around a corner where they had us go into a small room, you know that small room you never want to be invited into. They told us the doctor would be in shortly. He came in to tell me what I had already known. That he was gone and that after the amount of time being down if they could have revived him he wouldn’t have been alright anyway. Gene’s sister was wiping blood off of my feet people were giving me water, it was all a blur but at the same time I felt like time was standing still.
They let us go see him once they got him cleaned up, I went and sat with my husband for one final time and held his hand and kissed his fingers like I always did. His mom and his aunt arrived, we all said our good byes. Everyone started leaving, I couldn’t leave, I didn’t want to, I knew it would be the last time I looked at him. I sat there with him and just held his hand kissed his lips rubbed his head, they finally told me it was time to go, had to leave. I kissed him for the last time and I walked out of that hospital
dead inside. I walked out alone, I walked out a widow, I walked out without my former self because she died that day.
Lets see what emerges from this journey through grief, lets see how this shapes and defines me. I am going to share our story here because I want to keep his memory alive, for anyone that is going through something like this maybe I can be there in some small way to help you.