Okay, I think I’m done being mad for reals this time!! (No promises though.)
Anyways, I didn’t tell you but on Wednesday night at like 10pm (not sure why he felt it was appropriate to call at that time), I get a call from the coroner’s office informing me that they have figured out your cause of death (I’m thinking, "okay, it only took you guys three months to figure it out and I already know, so why are you calling?!") and then he goes on to say, we’re ruling it an accident caused by blunt force trauma to the left knee from the motorcycle accident. I’m thinking “blunt force trauma?!” The doctors called it a road rash and told him to put Neosporin on it!! Now, it’s considered “blunt force trauma”?! Why didn’t the doctors call it that in the beginning and treat it as “blunt force trauma” instead of telling us it was superficial scrapes and bruising, nothing to worry about. Just apply Neosporin and wrap it with gauze. Anyways, he called to get more information about the motorcycle accident so he can update the death certificate. When? Where? How? I’m thinking, “Wow, call a grieving widow at 10pm at night three months later to get information on a motorcycle accident that kills her husband so you can update the death certificate?! Who the hell is running the coroner’s office?! S/he needs to be fired!!” Anyways, I say, “I’m not really sure. You can call YA since he was riding with him.” Before, I could even finish giving him YA’s phone number, I’m in tears and can barely utter another word, so I just said, “Okay, I’m going now. Bye,” and he says, “Oh, Okay, no problem ma’am.” Then I think to myself, “Okay, I’m definitely not okay, right?!.”
Today, I went to pick up your phone from the coroner’s office. Did you know it’s actually really close to our house?! Who knew that I drive pass it everyday to and from work. (Great!?! Another remembrance of your death everyday when I drive to and from work!!) That’s where your body was after you left the hospital and before you went to the funeral home. You were only two exits away from me, maybe that’s why I always felt you were so close. I didn’t think it would be a big deal to pick up your phone by myself. I mean, it’s just a phone. It wasn’t like I was picking up your urn, or anything like that, so what could go wrong?! Obviously, I thought I was better than I really was!! I pulled into the ridiculously ginormous empty parking lot and I start tearing up. (I mean, it was a ginormous parking lot and it was completely empty, not a car in sight!! I guess nobody wants to visit the coroner’s office, I wonder why?! They shouldn't have wasted all that space for a parking lot that nobody ever wanted to use.) The letter said, I needed to pick up your phone from the evidence room, so I imagined it was at a police station with a cop standing behind a counter in front of a metal chain link fence that housed rows of shelves and boxes. Instead, it was like an office waiting room. It was warm, inviting, and well lit--it looked more like a place where babies are born, not where you pick up dead bodies and their personal belongings. I tell the sheriff lady behind the receptionist window that I’m here to go pick up something from the evidence room (that’s what the letter said, pick up items from the evidence room). She looked a little surprised at how I phrased it, and then she asked, “Do you have an appointment with Christina?” I said, “I have an appointment, but I don’t know with who.” She kind of gives me a weird look. But, in my defense, I’ve never talked to an actual person since we played phone tag and made arrangements via voicemails while I was in China, so all I could remember was, “Okay. We’ll have the items ready for you on Friday, the 13th between 11:30-12:30 pm,” and why would I think there’s only one person that works in the evidence room that I would need to remember her name?? Anyways, she asked for my name, calls somebody, and says casually, “Sun is here for you.” (like I was there on a social visit and not to pick up my husband’s personal belongings that was collected off his dead body about 3+ months ago.) Then, she takes me into a room called the “family room” (It was actually labeled the “family room”) and pulls up a big sign to put in front of the door that says, “Meeting in progress.” I guess that is code for “Do Not Disturb while we give people the worst news of their lives.” After I saw the sign for “family room,” I just lost it. I was in tears. There was no use trying to fight it. Also, I don’t understand why does the hospital and coroner’s office think that the ‘Family Room’ is the right name for that room? It makes no sense at all. The Family Room!! WTF!! Call it what it is, ‘The F***in’ worst day of your life’ room, not the ‘Family Room’?! What a joke!! There’s nothing friendly or family about that room.
Anyways, a lady (aka Christina) walks in with your phone in a clear plastic bag and hands it to me. She asks for my photo ID and if I had any questions? I kinda look at her and thought to myself, “Yeah, actually I do have a lot of unanswered questions, where do I start?!” I’m sure if I started asking her some of the questions I really wanted to ask, she’d be worse than google. At least google would say ¯\_(ツ)_/, not sure if Christina would even give me a shrug. So, instead I just asked questions like when will the cause of death get updated on the death certificate. She said the cause of death has been updated but it hasn’t registered yet. I’m thinking, “Even when you die, there’s red tape!” She explained that the death certificate has been updated with “accident” as type of death and cause of death is pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis resulting from blunt force trauma to the left knee from the motorcycle accident. Awesome, now all the empty boxes at the bottom half of your death certificate can get filled in now. I guess everything pertaining to your death is complete, expect for taxes and probate! (Did you know, I get to file married on my taxes for another two years starting in 2019? At least the IRS has some sympathy for us, widows, unlike the auto insurance company who can’t even acknowledge that I’m a widow. I’m just ‘single’ to them--like my husband never existed and I have 4 cars under my name.) Well, I’m totally upset and distraught yet again in another ‘family room.’ Family Room. Accident. Blunt Force Trauma. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Pulmonary Embolism. These words were said way too many time for my liking in such a short span of time that I just grab the clear plastic bag with your cell phone in it and all the paperwork associated with it, and I get up and walk out while Christina is talking in mid-sentence. Christina says, “Don’t drive if you’re distressed,” as I’m rushing to get away. I wanted to yell back, “It’s okay. I’ve mastered drive while I’m distressed now. It’s part of my ‘new normal.’” Once again, I guess I’m not okay after all.
When I got back to the house, KT was waiting for me. It was his turn to pick up a few of your things. He took your cigar humidifier and a watch. I thought I was going to cry, but I think I was all cried out from the coroner’s office, so he was spared my tears. We were chatting about you. He asked if therapy was helping and I said, “Yeah. It helps me understand what step I’m on.” He asked, “How many steps are there?” I said, “I really don’t know because you can go in and out of a step and it’s not a linear progression towards anything.” So, we both just let out a sigh when we realized there’s no end in sight for this thing called grief.
I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “Am I okay?” I want to think I am, but sometimes, I have no freakin’ clue either. My therapist wants me to really think about why I’m mad at you and not just fixate on what you did wrong. I can’t even go there, because it would mean I would actually have to believe you’re dead and you’re not coming home. I don’t think people realize that I’m the only person who hasn’t gotten the memo that you died. To me, you’re still on a business trip and I’m just waiting for you to come home; that’s the only thing that keeps me sane and moving. Just the mere thought of you not coming home makes my heart race; I start to panic, and I become paralyze. KT says he thinks about all the things you guys aren’t able to do anymore. He says he can tell me because I will understand, but what he doesn’t realize is that I don’t understand. I don’t understand at all because I refuse to even think about all the things we don’t get to do anymore and all the things I’ve lost and don't have anymore because you died and left me here all alone. If I go there, I will not make it back. I will not survive. I will crumble into pieces. I will be broken; shattered into a million pieces, and no amount of crazy glue could ever put me back together.
So, the only way I’ve learned to survive this tragedy is to live in the ‘middle room’ as my therapist calls it. I like to call it ‘squatting at the fork in the road’ in my airstream. I will continue to stay where I am. Where I’m comfortable. Where it’s safe and warm. Where you’ll be coming home soon. Anywhere else is too cold, dark, and desolate. Why would anyone want to go there?!
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.