It’s been more than three years since my husband said my name.
More than three years since the hospice worker showed up, stopped the feeding tube and said, “I don’t think he’ll need that anymore.”
It was more than three years ago that I stood on my porch listening to two hospice workers talk about death and yet I somehow didn’t grasp that the end – which we had alternately longed for and dreaded – was at hand.
It was at that same time more than three years ago that the local Baptist minister, who we did not know but who knew of us, showed up at our door with food and prayers in what must have been divinely inspired timing.
It has been three years since that awful night which followed that confusing day.
Three years since I stood by the side of the bed, praying for the medicine to kick in.
Three years since I willed the 6 month-old on the other side of the bed to stay asleep – knowing there was no way I could keep them both from falling to the floor at the same time.
Three years since the midnight visit from a hospice worker who asked if I wanted her to stay, and I sent her away, still oblivious to the fact that death was here.
It was three years ago this morning that I was startled awake to witness the final breath.
Three years since I stood at the foot of the bed and thought, “I need to remember this.”
Three years since I held it together only long enough to say “my husband died” to the hospice worker on the phone.
It was three years ago that I left the baby with the neighbor and waited on the porch swing.
Three years since three strangers in suits showed up and said, “you and your kids are not going to want to see this.”
And so it was three years ago this morning that I sat in my boys’ bedroom and hoped my daughter across the hall would stay asleep just ten minutes longer while men we did not know escorted her father out of his house for the very last time.