I bought a large rubber tote yesterday.
I have been looking at Chad’s clothes sitting in a pile on the bench in our room for the last month.
I know he’s never going to wear his clothes again.
It’s a truth that is really hard to fathom, but it’s a truth nonetheless.
He will never be back.
He will never put his favorite hoody over his head again.
He will never remove his shirt and leave one sleeve inside-out as he tosses it into the dirty clothes hamper ever again.
Some of his clothes still smell like him…a mix of Old Spice deodorant and Gillette shaving cream.
He needed to shave every day. He didn’t shave when he was on vacation, though. He could grow facial hair like nobody’s business.
It’s funny that he was a man who was hairy everywhere except on the top of his head.
I miss his bald head.
In the moments before he passed he was rubbing his hand across his head.
It kept doing it over and over…he was pacing.
I asked him if he was hot.
He said no.
But he was certainly feeling uncomfortable.
Something wasn’t right.
But who would have imagined that the something that wasn’t right was that his heart would cease functioning in the next 5 minutes.
I could sit and rethink the last moments of his life and wish that we had called 911 before he was dead, but we didn’t do that.
Because I never thought that my seemingly healthy, bicycle riding husband would die from heart failure in the snap of a finger.
In the wink of an eye.
In the seconds it takes to take a breath in…
he did that and it was his last breath ever.
I can only visualize him exhaling
one last time.
The paramedics came quickly and tried everything in their arsenal to revive him.
They worked tirelessly with his body on the floor of our cramped bedroom, but couldn’t bring him back from the beyond he had entered into.
When I went into the room at the hospital to see him one last time, to say goodbye forever to him, I saw a spot of blood on his neck.
I touched it and it began to run.
The last bit of life leaving him and I got to see it.
I wiped the blood away with the tissue in my hand and turned to throw it away in a garbage can.
When my foot pressed down on the pedal to open it, I saw his clothes.A brown T-shirt, gray boxer briefs, and his gray striped Calvin Klein lounge pants.
Laying there motionless in the garbage, cut away from his body by the paramedics and doctors.
Never to move with him as he moved through the world.
Because he would not get up from the table he was laying on.
Clothes that never made it home to be put into the rubber tote I bought yesterday…