You know this, too, if you know me: my husband died 45 years ago on Easter Sunday. He's been gone longer than I had been alive when he left. Is it too late to write an obituary? Yes.
He was more fun to be with than anyone I have ever known.
And he was a much better person than I am. You know what they say: Only the good die young. Well, Bill Wylie was a good man. He was 45 when he died, suddenly. He burped and he died. I used to say he must have been as astonished as I was. (Remember: "You, dear, are astonished; I am surprised." That was attributed to Webster, of dictionary fame, when his wife caught him kissing the maid.) We were both astonished. I've read of widows who were angry at their husbands for departing without so much as a by-your-leave. I was not angry, still am not. And I never asked why. The question was how. Hiis heart stumbled. Because then when he burped, the valve in his epiglottis styed open and the slight regurgitation went into his lungs and I pushed it in further/worse with my attempts at CPR. When the Stratford coroner told me that, I said "I don't know whether I can live with that" and he said "You're going to have to."
But I didn't. I met a heart doctor later who made me go over the moves before Bill asphyxiated and it was he who pronounced it a brief, sudden (fatal) heart attack. Nothing that these days a defibrillator wouldn't fix.
The fact is, Bill Wylie died. So don't ask how. The other question is why? I'm not going to go there. Ever.
My son Matthew, the challenged one, was 12 when his father died. He's the only one, I think, who remembers that Bill died on Easter Sunday. Yesterday Matt said, "Our lives would be different if Dad had lived." You think?
Lots of people get lonely. It's what you do with lonely that makes the rest of life livable. In the first days, weeks, months and years after Bill died, I learned how to handle lonely. I was a slow learner, at first. Not that I wasn't alone - we all are, we keep being reminded of that - but I got used to it?
Not really. I could go on and on, and I do.