You are never fully prepared in life to lose a spouse. I don’t think it matters how long you have been married or what age your loved one is or whether or not they were ill or it was sudden. Nothing ever prepares you for that moment. The moment you hear Mam(Sir) I regret to inform you….
Time freezes. You hear the words. You see the person speaking the words. But your mind isn’t quite comprehending it the way you should. You never know how you will react to the news either. Some people sob immediately. Some people faint. Some people are speechless. There is no right or wrong way to react.
My initial reaction after I heard those words~ my legs almost gave out and I just began to shake, cry, and repeatedly say “No!?!!” over and over. I was grateful I was outside and not in the house and in front of my children. Then my survival mode and mama bear mode kicked into full force. I remember seeing my mother-in-law and telling her “Shhhh….the baby is sleeping. Ella and Hunter are resting. They don’t know. Don’t let them know.” She walked into the house. Hunter woke up sick that morning and began to throw up again as I looked inside. Then my sister-in-law came and she was not going to react quietly and did not at all. I remember telling her to be quiet and that the kids need to hear it from me. She looked at me and told me to shut up. A neighbor followed her inside as she began screaming and escorted her outside onto my deck.
As you can tell, the loss of my husband was unexpected and emotions were running high. I looked at the police and said “My babies” and they opened the door for me. I searched for Ella and Hunter and they weren’t laying on the couch watching a movie. My heart was racing and I was trying to keep myself together. I looked into the kitchen and there were 2 of my 3 babies huddled together under the kitchen table, crying and scared. Talk about adding more heartbreak. I fell onto the floor and grabbed them and hugged them. I took their hands and looked into their little faces and had to say the hardest words ever to my then 5-year-old and 18 hours short of being 4-year-old (yes the day before Hunter’s birthday) “Daddy was hurt. Daddy is not coming home. Daddy died and is in heaven now.” Their whole world was forever changed.
This is one moment in my life I will not forget. I will never forget hearing the words said to me. I will never forget what I was wearing. I will never forget seeing my babies protecting each other from the chaos surrounding them until they saw me. I will never forget the looks on their faces and the tears they shed when I had to say those words to them. That moment is embedded in my memory forever.