I have absolutely no memory of Tuesday and Wednesday. I can’t tell you anything about it other than lots of food started arriving. Spaghetti with meatballs, chicken casserole, macaroni and cheese, cakes, and on and on from caring friends, family, and neighbors. I couldn’t eat much because I still had no appetite, but it was so nice to have it for my family. I was still on my coffee diet. That’s it. The rest has been erased from my memory.
Fast forward to Thursday. Andy is ready for Ken and me to see. This day defines ambivalence for me. I wanted to be with Andy and spend time with him more than anything on earth, but I was terrified at the same time. I didn’t think I could bear to see him dead. I thought I might just die on the spot--I certainly wanted to.
But we did go. It was a terrible feeling walking up to the door and then walking in. No one should have to do this. I felt that walking through water feeling again, only now it was like walking against a raging river. They took us to a small room and let us in. I looked at him, I cried. He was still my baby, but his life force, his soul, was gone. I spent a little time talking to him, but was disappointed that it just didn’t seem like him. It seemed like a wax replica of my son. The real him, his essence, was gone. I left my note with him, told him I loved him, and we left. I felt closer to his spirit at home and in his room. I felt that he had moved on and was in heaven already. I told myself he was joyful and peaceful, and that made me feel better.
I sat in his room and wrote my tribute to him for his funeral. I remembered all the love and happy times we shared. Interestingly, my truly joyful memories were the little things…singing his song, reading him stories, kissing him goodnight, hugging him. I’m here to tell you that life is about the little moments created in love. It’s not about money, things, big vacations, fancy houses and cars, important job titles. It’s about spending time with your children. It’s about love. Andy was my life, my joy, my reason for living, my #1 priority. Looking back, I’m glad I put him before my job, my love life, my own selfish desires, at least most of the time.
I grieved that there would be no more happy times to share with him, not more hugs, smiles, laughter with him. I grieved that I would never see him spend the rest of his life with his true love. I grieved that I would never have grandchildren. Then I went downstairs and spent the rest of the night with my family. I felt that I was just a shell of the person I was only a few days ago, the walking dead. I looked alive, I talked, smiled, carried on, but I was really dead and having to fake it. The best part of me had died. To be honest, I still feel that way, though I try mightily to find at least one thing to be joyful about each day in honor of Andy. I wonder if I will always be this shell or if time really will heal the wound. So far, it hasn’t. Went to bed early--tomorrow was a big day…the calling hours.