“I had to live through his death, through my own death and made meaning out of our love.”
– Dr. Sarah Neudstadter
“Death and Love”
Fiction. Based on a True Death that Took and Gave.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
Oh love of mine. How you make me feel when you enter the doors to our home. Your smile still lights up my world. You kiss me so tender and tell me you’ll be ready for dinner in a couple of minutes. I prepare your plate and we sit at the table. You ask about my day, “same as always, busy,” I reply. I ask about your day and you start talking about things I don’t understand. I never understand your job but I always listen.
You clean the dinner table and the dishes and I go take a shower. I get out and you’re waiting for me. “Take a shower, you stink,” I say to you and laugh. You roll your eyes at me and I swat your arm. You hit my ass and head to the bathroom. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky as to find my soulmate.
I’m in bed reading a book when you arrive. You have a towel wrapped around your waist. I try not to look at you, I know what you’re doing. You come closer and take the book of my hands. I pull the towel off.
It’s the next day and I hear you in the shower, I get up and make you breakfast. When I see you again you’re dressed for business. Black suit with a gray striped tie and I can’t wait until you get back home to take that tie off.
However, it’s 8 pm and you don’t arrive home. I call, I text, and no reply. I start to worry. I call your parents but they don’t know anything about you since yesterday.
It’s 10 pm and I hear a knock on the door. I answer it to find policemen. “Ma’am, is your name Kate Smith?” I nod. “Your husband was in an accident.” I stay there in shock. They tell me you’re in the hospital, probably going into surgery. They say you were pretty bad, but that you asked for me, and that gives me hope.
Until I finally arrive to see you. 11:03 pm. The time you died. The time I died.
I don’t cry. I arrive at the house and just sit in front of the door, waiting for you.
You don’t come home. I don’t move.
My mom comes over for me to eat. I eat for the first time in three days, still on the floor.
I start to stink. My mom picks me up from the floor and puts me in a bath. I still don’t cry.
A week has passed. You’re still dead. I’m still dead. I wish we were dead in the same places. I’m still on earth while you’re in heaven. I get nauseous and I throw up on myself. My mom cleans me up again.
I’ve been throwing up every day since last week. My mom thinks I should go to the hospital. I just think it’s my body’s way of finally noticing that my soul has died. There is nothing in this body.
Except, this body is full of you. And me. My mom made a doctor come and take blood samples. I’m pregnant.
I cry. I cry everything I haven’t cried since you died. Every tear wanting to come out at once. Your emptiness piercing through me. How could I have life inside of me when you’re dead? How can I have you growing inside of me?
I go back to work after a month. I distract myself. I hold myself up for the day. Until I arrive at the house and fall as soon as I enter. Your absence hits me fast and throws me on the floor. I cry right here, on the floor. I scream. I scream for you to come back to me. Come back to me. I finally get up and I feel fumes inside of me. Why? Why take him from me? It was not his time. I’m alone. I start screaming, hitting, and throwing everything in the house.
I receive a call today. It’s my gynecologist. They want to confirm my appointment for tomorrow. I sigh and say that I’ll be there. I’m hesitant because I haven’t thought about this baby and how it’ll grow up without a father.
“You’re about eight weeks pregnant, still very early,” she says to me with a smile. I don’t smile. She wants to do an ultrasound, just to see if we can hear a heartbeat.
I hear it, it’s slight but I hear it. I hear you. I hear you say, “You got this baby.” I cry. For the first time not because I’m sad but because I feel okay, like everything will be okay. You left me but you left this beautiful gift. I’m alive, you’re alive, this baby is us; alive.
I love you. I love this baby. I’ll love this baby enough for the both of us. Take care of us.