Hi, I’m Jackie. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you are most likely on the same dreaded team as me - a Widow.
On March 25th, 2008, my husband, Jeff, our kids and I woke early to get him to the doctor because he hadn’t been feeling well. He had put off going to the GP because he hated to admit there was ever anything physically wrong with him.
When he woke that morning, he didn’t do what he usually did - jump up and make coffee, feed the dog and play with the kids. He laid in bed and had to be coaxed to get up. After I had my shower, I had climbed back into bed with him and snuggled up to his warm and cozy back. I told him I loved him and we talked about the day when we would be able to sleep in the same bed together without our little one’s appendages draped across our necks. “That’ll be the day,” he had said to me. How right he was.
After his appointment, he had headed to the car before me. When I arrived, he was gasping for breath. As I ran back to the office to get a doctor, I saw him lose consciousness in the front seat. Our five year old daughter was already in the car. The noises he made and the lack of response from him to her cries still haunts her. When I came back, I started CPR. Between breaths, I screamed and begged him to come back. I tried to ignore the fog that was creeping into his eyes. The doctor who was doing the chest compressions had to remind me to breathe each breath into him.
Life since that day has been a slow and long plod. To my detriment, I have expected a slow and steady climb forward. Unfortunately, grief does not follow a regular path or route. It’s bumpy and scary….but at times; I have found light and hope. I have found that there are blessings that go along with this thing called widowhood. And although, I would prefer to have my beloved husband back with me, I am thankful for the gifts of strength and the ability to see life with gratitude as I never did before.