The Last 8

Someone I know passed away last week and she was just a few years younger than myself. She left two boys 18 and 16 which are my kids ages and my kids went to school with these boys. I was shocked that she had passed and it reminded me of when my husband Bob died and the last eight minutes of our life together.

I can remember so clearly walking into our bedroom and he was doing the death rattle which is the sound people make before they die. It’s a rattling sound in the chest as if they have phlegm in their lungs and it makes a rattling sound. I walked slowly into our bedroom as the fear gripped my heart and as I stood in front of his bed, his eyes were closed and he was an ashen color.

I touched his hand and felt a bit of relief as I could feel the warmth which meant he was still alive even though I already knew this I needed that reassurance of touching him. I reached for the bottle of morphine unscrewed the cap and sucked up morphine into the dropper and put it to his lips and squeezed.

I knew he would be gone in a very short time and I replaced the cap on the morphine and walked back into the great room where I sat and waited. I looked at the clock and sat hoping he would die quickly because I couldn’t stand the pain of the anticipation of his death. I didn’t want to lose my husband but I wanted him to die so it could be over with as I just couldn’t stand it.


I felt a pull of my body, the pull that made me get up and follow nobody back into our bedroom and as I walked through the great room I looked at the clock and it was eight minutes later. Exactly eight minutes later my husband was gone forever from my life, our lives and as I walked through the doorway I knew he was gone.

I walked up to him and touched his hand and looked at his calm features as he was nothing but a shell. I could see a bit of blood at the corner of his mouth and I walked like a robot to the closet and got a wash cloth. I went into the bathroom and ran the water until it was warm and I soaked the washcloth and wrang it out.

I walked back to him as I had done so many times before and I gently washed his face and that is when the tears sprang from my eyes. I stood there without moving a muscle on my face and the tears made a staggered stream down my face. I sat next to the bed and held his hand until it grew cool and then I made the appropriate calls.

The black station wagon pulled into the driveway and a gentleman took a gurney into our bedroom and I watched his body exit the front door and that was the end, the finality of our life together. The panic gripped my heart like a steel hand as I began to wonder how was I going to make it without him? How was I going to take care of the kids? How was I going to maintain the house, bills, cars? How was I going to make it all on my own once again?

Fast forward two years later and I have made it by myself, yes I have kept my kids alive and healthy, paid the bills, maintained this house the best I can and I have done it all on my own with no man insight to help me emotionally or financially and I have found myself to be a better person for it. I have grieved and I have made it so anyone who thinks they cannot live without their significant other should realize that we do live, life does go on and it is up to us on how we deal with the change.

So many say I am strong such a strong woman but the truth is Im just as insecure as most, I still doubt myself and I still think I could be so much better than I am. I am my own worse critic and I am the first to  put myself down because if I can accept my failings before someone else points them out then I feel as if I am ahead of the game.

Now I just go through life not happy but not unhappy as I exist and wait for the right person to enter my life, the right man who can love me and accept my children, the man who has the same wants, desires and goals as I do. I wait in the wings as I watch other couples together and I wonder when will be my turn, yes I just wonder but never question God’s plan because I am not one to question something that no answers will come from.


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