Our Mountain had been frequented by us many times before but this time I knew it was going to be an arduous task that lay ahead and reaching the top was going to be a solo climb.
Nobody really grasps the pain and sorrow another feels over the loss of a spouse leaving his or her better half behind until it happens to you.
If you are reading this, then you too are aching from the loss of a loved one.
People sometimes take others for granted, and this happens in good stable marriages as well because they thought that they will always be around for them no matter what, but life is unpredictable and very cruel. When a person close to you dies you will be flooded with vivid memories and later regrets.
Regrets about why didn’t I do this? I should have done more? But you wouldn’t have known and how would you have know till the day it happens and when it does your world will never be the same again.
They say death is a personal thing. No, it’s not. We all have to die and when it happens to those close to us we are left holding our grief alone. Its belongs to you and you have to go through it. You cannot share it and yes people will say “I am so sorry” but during the wee hours of the night when you turn to touch your beloved realising he or she has gone forever the reality sets in. We are born to die and there is nothing personal in that.
Death is final and the sting it leaves behind is very painful. No pills will cure the pain of heartache, loss and loneliness. It is a long and hard road and for those of us who have lost loved ones my best advise to you is to keep yourself busy.
Managing your pain gets easier. Allow yourself to mourn. Do not permit your thoughts to go to the dark recesses of your mind as you ponder about your loved one’s dying. Put away all morbid thoughts.
Many times I hauled out my albums touching and gazing at his photos as if by some sheer force of magic I would be able to bring him back to life.
There was one time that I went to the bedroom to tell him that a friend of ours had died forgetting he too was dead or the time I picked up my cell phone to call him remembering that I shall never have that freedom of intimacy to know I could just call him and he would always answer my calls. Those days are over never to be repeated. They are gone like dust in the wind.
He died looking at me as I stood staring down wondering to myself what fear he must be seeing in my eyes. He took the oxygen mask off to tell me something, and it was then that I saw the life leave his body. I turned away in fear. I am sorry I did. Whatever words he wished to say to me died with him.
Death came to him as he lay in our new bed which I had just bought for him a few days before on an Autumn Tuesday Evening just as the sun had gone down. I stood watching in absolute disbelief. I think I cried out to God. I ran to my big glass bedroom window looking up into the night sky thinking “You are now free from all your pain. Go to the Lord, he is waiting for you.”
The paramedics asked me if they could resuscitate him “No, let him go”.
Vernon had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostrate cancer 2 years before dying. The Oncologist had assured us that through his arsenal of meds he would be able to give him 10 more Christmases at least.
Wow, we were feeling very optimistic when we left the doctors rooms that Autumn afternoon.
It was not soon after the first hormone injection that everything went down hill. From a healthy, masculine, fit man he went to skin and bones in less than 18 months and no Doctor was able to tell us why.
Looking back, we realised that the hormone injection played a major role in his deterioration. My many visits to the Government run Hospital in South Africa was a burden on its own. Waking up at 5am to arrive at 6am only to see a sea of faces waiting in a queue was very exhausting. This trip was done twice a month as he had developed a heart condition over and above his cancer and therefore had to see different doctors for each illness.