Kari D: I received a phone call that he wasn’t breathing

August 5, 2019

I was married for almost 15 years.

He was a high school football coach.

We received a phone call that he wasn’t breathing. He was on life support for 3 days

We did the DNR and he was braindead. He passed away from a massive brain aneurysm.

I was 38 at the time and he was 48. Our daughters were 8 and 11.

I remember when they told us there was nothing that they could do.

I’ve always thought myself and independent, strong, and powerful woman. I was surprised to find how broken I was.

My life prior was so easy and I didn’t realize it.

When it’s a sudden death there’s a lot that’s left unsaid. I had some regrets from our last moments together.

We got cards and condolences from around Kansas City

The emotional support that I lost broke me and I wasn’t prepared for that. I wasn’t prepared for the physical pains of grief. I had no idea what pain was until my husband passed away.

I did not realize how easily I could be broken.

I had a double ear infection and sinus infection and that was due to all the crying. The weight on your chest…it feels like you cannot breathe like somebody has their hands around your throat.

Nothing else matters except this deep dark pit that you are sitting in.

The emotional exhaustion relates incredibly physically.

Here I was leaning against the side of the shower just bawling. I’d hear my daughters doing the same.

There came a period of adrenaline too. And then anger arose. I wasn’t mad at Eric. You can’t be mad at someone that didn’t mean to die.

Life happens regardless of what your plans are.

I know that I had to feel everything that I was feeling. No matter how messed up it seemed or how messed up it felt it was valid.

I had to feel those crazy things in order to move forward.

We were a statistic in that we were not prepared. Eric didn’t have a will. We didn’t have enough life insurance.

I did not leave my house for quite some time because everyone knew us. I hated it. I hated it so much.

My kids are tired of grieving and they want it to go back to normal but they can’t because everybody knows that their Dad died so they’re walking around on eggshells. We don’t want the eggshells but we need the eggshells.

I think every time we share it makes it easier.

Grieve really really hard now so you can feel something else later. Doing this was making me stronger. Doing this was making me braver.

It’s nice to be able to smile while we’re sharing this stuff with each other.

When I was in the deep pits of grief if something triggered me I would literally be done for the day. Now I cry, I laugh about it and we get up and go. We go do life.

I like who I am now a whole lot better than who I was before. I hate that I had to lose my husband to evolve to who I am today.

I am more gentle. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Literally, it doesn’t matter. If it won’t matter in 5 years it doesn’t matter. I am more appreciative and I am more grateful.

I am blessed for this laundry because these people are here to dirty it. There is so much we take for granted in life and then life teaches us a lesson.

I put my phone down more.

When you do those things you create more experiences. The stuff doesn’t matter. I  have a slower-paced lifestyle and I like it.

How many times do we pose for professional photos with our children on the grass? Do you really do that? Or do you just pose for professional photos? I find myself doing it more now.

We were both workaholics in our previous lives and we had let that happen.

We put ourselves to the wayside and I wish we had not.

Hold on to hope.

One day you’re going to look back at this time and think, “That was a really hard time but I made it.”

Your heart expands and you learn to carry on and brings your spouse honor and keeps their legacy alive because they have changed you. You are who you are today because of the person you were with.

Whomever you spend your time with helps you evolve into who you are going to become. I am a better person because of my husband Eric.

I hold on to hope that good things are coming.

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