“Death is final.” You’ve probably heard that before. Yes, we’ve all heard it, but living it is a whole different thing. Death of a loved one is so final it can be devastating to the ones left behind. This devastation often takes the form of shock, especially if the death is sudden.
Even though my husband, Hawk, was extremely ill for 3 years, we still had hope for recovery. What was I thinking? Doctors, friends, family – they all saw it, but I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t imagine my life without him, so I didn’t. We just kept plodding forward – doctors, hospitals, treatments, paramedics, more treatments. Hawk didn’t want to leave me, nor leave his kids and grandkids. He loved life. He didn’t want to leave, but he wasn’t afraid to die either.
Looking back, one of my biggest regrets was that we never talked about death. Never. We were so afraid to lose one another we blocked it out. Hope sprung eternal for us. Every morning we woke up with HOPE tattooed across our foreheads. And I was such a controlling caregiver, I don’t think friends or family felt they could bring it up, even though they probably wanted to. Yes, I have so many regrets. Regrets take up a large part of the grieving process. We are so used to thinking that our loved one will always be available. Whatever it is that we need to discuss, we can get to it later, but…death is final. There is no more later. It is devastating. It is shocking.
I had never experienced watching someone die before, let alone my other half. On the one hand, I felt as if I was dying right alongside him. On the other, I knew I had to let him go. At the very end, a strong spiritual force stepped in to cut the cord and allow me to let go of Hawk and bless him on his way, even though I knew it would devastate me. I actually felt the moment his soul left his body in the ambulance, and when I arrived at the emergency room and saw 8 people performing heroic life saving measures on him, I told them to stop. I knew he was already gone and wouldn’t be coming back.
Hawk and I were attached at the hip for 17 years, spending almost every moment together. Some people may say this is unhealthy, but we met late in life, and every moment was precious to us. We were deeply in love, and even though I don’t like the term “soul mates”, simply because it is so overused, that’s what we were (are?). I recently heard a description of soul mates like this: a soul that was separated at birth and went into two different bodies and then reunited as a whole when the two people came together. Wow! That may be hard to believe, but if you have that kind of connection, it can feel that way.
When Hawk transitioned from the physical to the ethereal, I wanted to go too. I felt like half of my spirit was leaving the planet. You’ve heard the term “having the rug pulled out from underneath you”? This was 100 times worse than that. I felt like the Earth itself had turned upside down. I literally did not want to stay here in the physical body without him. Looking back, I’m not sure exactly what kept me here. My daughter was the biggest reason. She is an only child and we have a very small extended family. I just couldn't leave her, even though I understand very well now that we have no control over the life and death journey.
The second reason I couldn’t join my husband is that I’m very healthy. I would have had to take my own life in order to leave my body. I could never do that. I don’t have the courage for one thing. But I do remember telling my therapist that if a truck hit me, I’d be okay with that. Life without Hawk was unimaginable to me when he died, but I also have a fire within me, and some small spark was keeping me alive.
Like many a grieving widow who has been a caregiver for a long time, I went into shock the day Hawk died. Suddenly, everything I lived for was gone. I careened down a spiraling black hole. My daughter was 5,000 miles away in South Korea teaching English and my 90 year-old mom and 70 year-old sister were in Arizona. I was utterly alone, except for my close friends, without whom I would have ended up in an asylum.
I spiraled for two months and woke up one morning feeling like I was literally going crazy. I don’t know how to explain it other than EXTREME FEAR. I had been experiencing anxiety, which was a new feeling for me, but this one morning it was worse than that. Later I realized I was probably having a panic attack, but it felt more like I would lose my mind if I didn’t get some help.
It was early in the morning and I somehow drove myself to the clinic. I walked up to reception and told them how I was feeling and that I needed help. This was HUGE for me, to be able to reach out and ask for help, but some unseen force prodded me. I had always been such a control freak and had just spent several years being “in control” of my husband’s condition. I was amazed and relieved to find that the health professionals at the clinic treat a mental health crisis with the same urgency as a broken leg. A therapist came out and ushered me into her office, thus beginning my road to recovery.
I discovered that people can recover from a severe shock or trauma to their psyche in the same way that they can recover from a car accident or some other physical trauma. I discovered that there are amazing people out there totally willing to help. I just had to let go of the illusion that I was in control of ANYTHING and reach out. Trained professionals are there, waiting to catch you. I call them my EARTH ANGELS.
Without realizing it, I was calling in my TEAM of EARTH ANGELS. At first it was extremely difficult, I won’t lie, but something was pushing me to continue to reach out. Isolation didn't feel good. I was a babe in the woods and without knowing it I was following my intuition to save myself.
I also came to realize that Hawk and my TEAM of LIGHT BEINGS were guiding me toward my resources for recovery. Even though I spent years as an energy healer it took an earthquake on the level of my husband dying to give me the gift of being able to rely on my helpers from the other side.
With my EARTH ANGEL TEAM and my LIGHT BEINGS TEAM I was able to move forward with my grief recovery.