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A journey through grief (9)

Posted on March 12, 2016 at 8:10 AM

I’m suddenly aware of a hand on my shoulder, I glance behind me to see, Becky, Derek’s’ sister and a best friend to both of us. Her blue eyes full of tears as she pulls me to her “Beck, he’s my life” I whisper as I tuck my head to her shoulder. She squeezes me closer for a moment without words. I hear another voice enter the room, “the doctor would like to talk to you” the woman says plainly. With that I’m guided to a small room that houses only a table and chairs. Two individuals are seated on the other side of the table. I realize immediately that the doctor sitting there is the same one that I redirected the day we arrived. He had spoken of Derek as a number, with no regard to Derek’s presence in the room or mine, treating him as a test case not the husband, father, brother, son, friend, EMT and firefighter that Derek was. This same doctor was talking to a group of interns in Derek’s room in essence pointing of the reasons Derek wouldn’t come through this. At that point I had directed him to leave the room and I followed him. I told him that neither I nor my husband needed to hear that. That Derek was sedated, not deaf and that it’s his job to figure out a way to save him not crush any fight he might still have left in him.

As this recollection races through my mind I reach my intended seat, directly across from him. He begins a medical explanation of the last few moments of Derek’s life as he sits stoically across the table. I find myself staring directly into his eyes as tears roll uncontrollably from mine. He asks if I understand, as the anger within me bubbles to the surface. The words pour from me without any thought or premeditation, “I do understand but I truly wonder if you understand. He wasn’t just a case you were working on, that man was my best friend, the father of four small children, an amazing person.” I watch as his expression seems to soften and for the first time I hear empathy from his mouth, “I’m sorry”, he says softly. The nurse beside him begins to cry and I glance over at Becky muttering “I need to get out of here”.

As we reach her van I realize I need to go home, but the thought feels like a ton of bricks on my chest. I sit in the passenger seat and mutter “Becky I can’t go home without him, this isn’t right. How do I tell the kids Daddy is never coming home? I can’t do this. “ . Tears pour from her eyes as she offers to take me to her place first. I close my eyes to escape this reality if only for a moment and find myself replying “no, I need to get home to the kids”. We speak very little on the hour drive back home as my mind races. What should I say to them, should I tell them together or separately? How will they react?

 

Categories: A Journey Through Grief

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