Tuesday, March 4, 2014


My Scotty passed away on Jan. 31, 2014.
It has been exactly 32 days.
When my mom passed away in 2010, I felt the very deepest despair and mused that it could not possibly get any worse than that.
I could not possibly feel any sadder.
I suppose that trial was to prepare me to deal with this.
Because this, this is much worse.
It hurts so much more.
It feels so much emptier.
I am having a difficult time letting go of him, and of the life that we worked so long to build.
It is worse because I am so lost; I feel as if I have lost my identity and don't know who I am anymore.
I was always quite certain of who I was.
I was obnoxious, opinionated, loud, a little OCD, impatient, and quite embarrassing for Scott.
And I knew that secretly he liked it.
But now I feel alone, unsure, and like I am trying to hold it together for my kids and for all the people who think that I am strong.
And really he was the glue.
I didn't realize (or maybe didn't want to admit) how much I relied on him.
He knew how to fix anything.
He understood electronics. I don't.
He shouldered our financial burdens and, in large part, our future security.
That has shifted.
And I didn't want it to.

It was called atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.
His doctor said he had never heard of anyone die from this condition so young.
The autopsy revealed that this complication had been the result of years and years and years of buildup.
Because Scott had a tough time dealing with stress or any strong emotion, his body overproduced adrenaline.
And because his body could only absorb so much adrenaline, it began to accumulate, like plaque, around his heart.
His arteries were 75 to 95 percent blocked and his heart just blew out.
I had watched him grow more and more tired over the previous weeks. And he had been complaining of back pain.
But it wasn't until after midnight, early Friday morning, that he called me frantically into the living room of my dad's house (where he was trying to get comfortable) asking for an aspirin and a priesthood blessing.
By the time I roused my dad from sleep and brought the aspirin, he was already seizing.
My Scotty.
I have replayed those last 25 minutes over and over in my head.
As if rehashing again and again would some how help me to wrap my mind around the event.
Or help me just to get it. To get that it is permanent, that it really happened and my new reality is so very different.
I still think of his eyes, searching for me when I called his name in the middle of a seizure. He tried to speak to me, tried to answer.
When the paramedics showed up, he was lucid and I felt that everything would be okay.
You hear about things happening like this on the news or in a TV show, and even though it is completely awful and very scary, it turns out all right.
But then his face relaxed and his arm fell off the stretcher. They started chest compressions and I became hysterical.
How did this become my story?
His heart beat jolted and they rushed him out the door. They lost him before they reached the hospital.
I lost him.
He looked so handsome there in the hospital. Even though he was gone, I could feel him.
He was warm and smelled just like himself. I knew he was still near me.
I didn't want to leave. I stared and stared.
I held his hand the way we used to.
I tried to memorize his face.
Even though I had looked at it a thousand times before, I wanted to remember every single freckle.
He had a lot of freckles. They were my favorite.
I am proud of him, what he accomplished, and who he was trying to be.
He was coming around to thinking I was right most of the time.
He was such a good dad, and a good doctor.
I miss him every single minute. I can't ever stop thinking about him really.
I am trying to come up with a plan B, or maybe a plan C and D.
Some days I feel like I know what to do, what direction to go.
And then the next I am in my pajamas at 4:30 in the afternoon on the couch (where I have been all day) as my kids mindlessly watch TV.
It has only been 32 days.
I have to remind myself not to push too hard.
It is okay to not know what to do.
I feel envious of the people around me who are happy, who are realizing their dreams and watching all their hard work come to fruition.
It is shocking that so many people can go on with their lives as if nothing is changed.
I know we are an eternal family. I know that I will see him again.
But it doesn't change anything. It doesn't make me feel better.
If I have learned anything from losing my mom it is that time takes the sting away.
So I will just keep my head down, and try to dance with my kids and read them stories.
Eventually it won't be my turn to be in so much pain.