I’ve been at a loss for words today. You see, I found out some news I never thought I’d hear. Chris is dead. What? I don’t understand. We just spoke Friday. What happened?
I sat motionless in my office chair trying to absorb the information I was just told by his co-worker. This can’t be happening. Who can I call? I didn’t have anyone’s number anymore. I became frantic. Then I thought of a way to get his emergency contact information. It worked. I knew his Aunt would be listed. She was. I phoned. It rang… No answer. I left a message and sent a text. PLEASE call me. This is Andreana, Chris’s ex-wife. I called Chris’s phone number out of desperation hoping someone would pick up. It rings….. No answer. I text, This is Andreana, Chris’s ex-wife PLEASE call me, hoping by chance, this is a cruel joke of some sort and this isn’t really happening. But it wasn’t a joke. Because no one was laughing.
His Aunt calls me back. They found him this morning. Heart attack. At 50 years old? How can this be? She gives me details. I slump in my chair and sniffle refusing to let out an all out “Lawd Jesus” and sob as the elders would. I would save that for later. As she continues to talk, all I can think of is “How could he die alone? No one was there. No Wife. No Lady Friend. NO ONE.” His Aunt and I are both sniffing. She has to hold it together for the family. She’s the rock. I am still in denial.
She says she will keep me informed regarding pending services and will pass my number on to his children. He LOVED his children and doted on every single one of them. He had recently become the grandfather of twin girls! He may not have shown it all the time, but he was proud of and supported all his children as much as he could the best way he knew how. I always respected that about him. I miss those kids sometimes. They’re all grown up now.
I hang up and continue to sit in silence looking out of my office window staring blankly at the street listening to the humming car engines as they pass by.
After three hours of not moving from my chair, with a heavy heart, I have a revelation. My throat tightened. If you’re on a spiritual level, you can relate to what I’m about to say.
At approximately 3:25am Sunday morning, I was awakened by a coughing spell. The nonstop coughing activated my “gag reflex.” Out of bed and to the bathroom I ran. The gag reflex was uncontrollable at this point. I gagged so hard and for so long there was nothing left but bile. I can still taste the yellow acid burning my throat. When it didn’t appear it would stop, I became afraid and cried out, “Oh God help me!”
And then my body began to calm itself.
3:25am was when Chris began his transition to the other side. Don’t ask me how I know. It’s a spiritual knowing.
As I rinsed out my mouth and brushed my teeth, I felt weird. My senses were more heightened. I was more aware. I could hear and feel each individual bristle rub against my teeth… The wave and swish of the water against my cheeks as I rinsed again… Im replaying everything in slow motion.
As I quietly got myself together and sat down on the bed, my ears began to ring. Loudly. Briefly. At the time I didn’t know what was happening. Now I know.
Chris didn’t die alone. I was there. Not in the present realm, but the spirit realm. I can only image how he may have suffered in those final minutes but try to block those thoughts from my mind. Perhaps he too cried out, “Oh God help me.” But I will never know.
Chris and I have been divorced 6 years. He’s always kept in touch because he did business with my Dad. Maybe that was his subtle way of being “around.” But he conducted his business and we kept it short and sweet. We always shared a love/hate relationship after our divorce. Our marriage was far from perfect but I took my vows seriously. I hated my wedding ring. “That don’t look nothing like what I showed you,” I remember thinking when he presented it to me. I never said it aloud. I only thought it. But you know what I did? I polished that ring every day like it was a poor man’s most prized possession and I wore it with pride. Our marriage was short lived, but marriage is marriage is marriage is marriage. If you believe in the sanctity of it, you understand a bond always remains, even if the marriage does not.
I finally make it home and let my dog out. I go to a closet in one of the other bedrooms and pull a wedding album from the shelf. There were two, one large album and a smaller one on top. I take the smaller album. I initially found them in a dust covered box in my garage a few months after I downsized my previous home…. The home we briefly shared. I’m now sitting on my couch after several hours not realizing the time. I’ve been in a daze all day. It’s late. My back aches. I feel ghost pains where my wisdom teeth were removed. My head is pounding. My throat is tight. All of these, signs of grief. Grieving because I’m resentful. Resentful because I’m grieving. I don’t expect anyone to understand. No one knew our relationship. Perhaps we didn’t really know our relationship either. But none of that matters now. I accept it all.
Chris has transitioned on. “Your ex-husband has transitioned on. Now you too can truly “transition” on and fully “let go.” This is what replays in my head.
His death is what will allow me to “let go.” Not “letting go” in the sense that I secretly held a torch for him in hopes that we could be together again. We tried again. It still didn’t work. We were in two different spaces. That ship had officially sailed long ago.
The kind of “letting go” I’m speaking of is letting go of the pain I felt and sometimes feel because of my failed marriage. The pain I sometimes feel when I see couples and their children smiling and sharing laughs. The pain of losing my family. The pain of the “coulda” “woulda” and “shouldas” no matter who they came from. I shake my head as if each twist will ease the pain and it will hurt less. It doesn’t. Each thought tumbling on top of another.
My wedding album is to my left, resting on the arm of the sofa. I slowly take the top off the box it’s in and there it is. My favorite wedding picture. I don’t take the album out of the box. I don’t have too. I just stare at the picture. The prelude of what’s to come. And I cry.
I cry first for Chris. I cry harder for myself.
I shake uncontrollably.
THIS is letting go.
I’m tired. My eyes are bloodshot and swollen. I squeeze my eyebrows together. My dog jumps on me lays down and rests his head on my thigh to comfort me. He knows. I gently stroke his head and pat his belly a couple of times to say thank you. I want these thoughts to disappear. I know they will eventually. It’s all a part of the “process.” The process I never fully completed. I can let go now. Completely.
Christopher, you always had a good heart. I never doubted that. You had so many good qualities. You just didn’t always make the best decisions. Neither of us did. Our marriage may not have always been good, but it certainly wasn’t always bad either. There was far more good than bad but the bad outweighed the good. I’m sure you would agree.
Sometimes the death of one person “frees” another if that makes any sense given the circumstances. Maybe I’ll look at my wedding album. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I will look another day.
Just not tonight.
You will forever hold a “special” place in my heart Christopher. Rest In Heaven.
I pray you eternal peace and rest and I pray strength and comfort to your children and to your family.
The Financial Hack, 2015©