Dealing With The Loss of a Loved One

For several months now I have had a sinking feeling that September would be a bad month. I didn’t buy into the comet strike thing that many people on the internet were speculating about, but I figured a terrorist attack, or stock market crash could happen.

I doubled checked my bugout bag, freshened up my food storage, and made sure their was enough water in the house. I live near a river, so I stocked up on fishing supplies, and checked my evacuation routes. I thought I was prepared.

Early in the month, my girlfriend woke up with a high fever. Her health wasn’t the best, so I had been through this before. I took her to the local ER, and sat with her for a while. The Dr’s gave her some antibiotics, and something for the fever. Everything seemed like it was going to be okay. After spending the morning in the ER with her, I told her I was going to go get something to eat, and head home to do some work. She reminded me that we had plans to go out to eat that night. I told her we would have to reschedule because the hospital was probably going to keep her for a couple days. That was the last time I ever spoke with her.

I came back later that evening. They had moved her to a different room, and she was sleeping peacefully. I didn’t want to wake her, so I just sat with her for a couple hours, and then I went home.

I awoke the next morning to an urgent call to get to the hospital ASAP. When I arrived, my girlfriend was on a respirator and unresponsive. The hospital staff was running tests.

She had suffered from a large brain aneurysm. The blood quickly filled her brain cavity, and crushed her brain stem. I was informed that she was brain dead, and there was no way to recover from the damage that had been done to her brain.

She was kept on life support for several days as we waited for different family members to arrive from out of town. This was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I would sit in the room with her and talk to her, hold her hand. Then I would be overwhelmed with the knowledge that she was already gone. That was just an empty vessel in that hospital bed. I couldn’t stand it, and I would go home. Then the despair would hit. The knowledge that, in a few days, they would unhook the life support and I would never be able to hold her hand again. I would never be able to kiss her forehead or stroke her hair. So I would rush back to the hospital, and the cycle would begin again. Back and forth to the hospital I would go. Several times a day. The pain was unbearable.

Eventually the rest of the family arrived, and the decision was made to remove life support. I couldn’t bear to be in the room when they did it. I couldn’t bear to watch her heart stop. I still had hope. I waited in the parking lot hoping someone would call down to tell me she started breathing on her own. No such call came.

As much as I had tried to prepare for whatever disaster I thought may happen in September, nothing I could have done would have prepared me for what happened. It truly was the end of the world as I knew it. I now have to pick up the pieces and start over.

So what is the point of this post? After all, this is a site to help you prepare for disaster. Is there a way to prepare for dealing with the loss of a loved one? Nothing can stop the pain or heartbreak from something like this. But you can prepare. You can start by not taking your loved ones for granted. You never know how long you have with the people you care about. So take time to be with them. Take time to enjoy their company. Tell them how much you value their friendship, and their love. Be prepared for what tomorrow may bring, but never forget that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Make the most of today. Because today, with your friends and loved ones, is the most precious gift you have.

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