Monday, December 17, 2012

Nightmare: The first week without Aimee

Continuing from my last post, this is the first week (actually, almost two weeks) after Aimee's death as summarized by my Facebook posts. It seems to be a more concise a clearer way to recall what was going on.

I shared this yesterday, but in case you missed it, I posted this the morning after Aimee's death:

Then, as the day wore on, I posted these:
As it turned out, one other person had been trapped and essentially 'died'; he was apparently unconscious and not breathing when he was pulled form the water. Efforts to revive him were successful. He was taken to a hospital in Miami, where I know he stayed for some time. As far as I know, he recovered from his physical injuries.

This blog was started the day after Aimee's death. To say it has been therapeutic would be a gross understatement.

If you're interest, the above post is here.

And this one is here.

The visit to the funeral home before heading to the airport in Miami may just be the closest thing to hell I'll ever experience (God willing). It's not that they did anything wrong - they were respectful, helpful, and sensitive. It's just that the last thing I ever wanted to be doing, EVER, but especially at the end of a great vacation, was making arrangements for my dead wife's body to be moved around. 

Then there was the trip home:

This trip was a nightmare. Our nerves were already raw. And while I love Donna, she can get on my nerves (you know, the ones that were so raw) sometimes. Combining little to no sleep for two days for either of us, delayed travel, long hours, a late night, and oh yeah, a dead loved one, well, it was bound to blow up. And it did.

I'm not proud of this, but the last of several arguments between Donna and I on the way home concluded with me telling her that if she wasn't careful, I'd cut her off from Rowan. That really, really hurt her, and I immediately felt like crap for saying it. I apologized, but the damage was done, and it took several days before she thawed out a bit and forgave me. Ridiculously, we'd been talking about how to raise Rowan, a ludicrous conversation to have been having at that point in time anyway. And Donna has been utterly amazing this past year, a true blessing to both Rowan and I. People, take note: don't try to even pretend to have a serious conversation when racked with grief and lacking sleep.

We got home well after midnight, where we were met by the pastor from my church, Kevin, and his wife Charlotte. We didn't need a ride or anything, they just felt like someone ought to be there for us, and met us there. It was an incredibly nice gesture.

Again, if you want to read this post, it's here

This was the first of two trips to the local funeral home, the second trip (and far longer one) being the next day - Christmas Eve. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday, but I will always remember having to spend hours at a funeral home on this Christmas Eve. But it had to be done. Had to get Aimee's body here from Florida, arrange for a viewing for Donna. After that, Aimee was to be cremated.

The moment described in this post is one of the most heart-wrenching moments I've ever had. It talks about how, when we got home from the airport, Rowan saw Aimee's car in the driveway and for the briefest moment thought Aimee was at home. 

After the funeral home visit on Christmas Eve, I went home,picked up Rowan, and took her to see Santa. This smile belies how nervous and ill at ease she was. Took six attempts before we got a usable photo.

As you can see from this last post, the day of Aimee's memorial got off to a terrible start. Rowan threw up about every hour to an hour and half all night. I got essentially no sleep. Rowan was sick all day. I was praying I wouldn't get it before the memorial (I didn't - I got it the next night, and not nearly as bad).

Then, had to get ready for the memorial...

As it turned out, the entire memorial went off without a hitch. If you want to read about it, you can find that in this post. The video of the song we performed, along with a great performance of Aimee's favorite hymn, "Come Thou Fount", can be found here.And I will post the tribute video tha came at the end of the service in my post tomorrow.

"Now begins life without her..."

Now begins life without her...

Now begins life without her...


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