On Wednesday, October 25, I woke up in the early morning hours to a nightmare. I will spare you all the details of that horrible night, mostly because I don’t want to relive it any more than I have to. But within a few hours of when the nightmare started, I found myself sitting in the cold, sterile emergency room staring in disbelief at the body of my lifeless husband. He was 36.
As I sit here and try to tell you about what has happened to me, to my family, I am still in a state of disbelief. I am numb and confused. I am heartbroken and sick. I am devastated. I am scared.
I am a widow. And my babies are now fatherless. How can this be?
My husband, Garry, was my best friend. He was the rock of this family. He was the fun parent, the one that the kids tackled the moment he got home in the evenings. He was patient and loving and thoughtful and kind. Oh, so kind. He was the kindest man I ever met. And he was the friendliest person on the planet; there was not a person that met him that didn’t instantly like him. In fact, there were over 300 people in the chapel at his memorial service, and dozens more in the overflow rooms of the building. People from around the world loved my husband because of what an amazing man he was.
Despite all of his wonderful qualities, he had a heart that was not working right. Despite his seeming good health and strong body, his heart was hiding a secret that no one would have ever known. Evidently, he had severe coronary artery disease and had suffered a heart attack previously that we didn’t know about. As the medical examiner told me the day after his death, it was just a matter of time.
Today is our 7 year anniversary. As heartbroken as I am, I can tell you with the greatest confidence that my husband loved me more than life itself. He said those very words to me just a few days before he passed. Today I am not able to celebrate with the man I wanted to grow old with, but I will celebrate our time together and our great love as best I can. There will be lots of tears, as there have been these past couple of weeks. But I can still feel his love for me and I know he’s not far.
I don’t know how I’m going to survive this. The grief and fear consumes me most days. Not only have I suddenly lost my best friend and love, but there is a very real possibility that I will lose the life we built together for our family. My husband was our family’s sole provider and now I have to figure out not only how to live this life without him, but also how to provide for myself and my children. The questions and fears and decisions that have to be made soon are overwhelming. But I am trying to face one day, one hour, one minute at a time right now. I don’t have it in me to do anything else.
I am sad and angry and scared but I am clinging to Jesus. Even though I don’t understand. Even though I would rather blame and hate Him. But He is my only hope for getting through this. Jesus, please be near. Please comfort me and my precious, devastated children. Hold us close, Lord, and walk with us through this. Lord, give me strength.