0 days since death

“The unknown is now known. My best friend is finally at rest. My heart is physically broken but our love will transcend time and space. I will carry her with me, always.” - 9.30.2020 11:08AM

The daytime distractions quieted down, and the house became still. Everything I saw and touched reminded me of her. The placement of her toothbrush, purse, and shoes. All the everyday things around the house sat frozen in their places.

It was the last time she had touched any of them. I wondered what she thought or felt when placing them down to their final resting positions.

Our bedroom turned hospital room, was cleaned and void of any remnants that just hours before Ariana took her last breath. Her body and spirit were gone. Removed. Nowhere to be found.

I was exhausted.

But everything about the past six days was both a nightmare and a celebration. Her death was the longest, shortest journey. It was a long painful process, but it also ended so fast and abruptly.

I made a bed of blankets and pillows on the floor for two of the kids while one remained in mine. This way, none of us would have to sleep alone.

I crawled over the makeshift bed and slipped into the covers of mine. I leaned over and kissed the kids on the floor. Then, I turned around to kiss the other lying next to me.

I turned the TV on, hoping to distract them and help them fall asleep. It was the last show we watched with mommy while all lying on that same bed. It was hard to hold back our fear and our pain. So, we didn't fight. We cried together and remembered the woman who just vanished from our lives.

The loss was real. Our world was taken from us.

At that moment, I realized that I am now a solo-widowed parent. 

I did my best to reassure them that we would endure this pain. I didn’t know how we would or if I was lying to them, but they were the only words I had within reach.

I remained with the kids until they all fell asleep. Afterward, I quietly snuck out of the room and went downstairs. I tried to do normal things like watch TV or talk with my sister, who decided it was best to stay with me for some time. But I found myself easily distracted, continuously looking to the door and waiting for Ariana to walk through it. I was desperate to hear her laugh at one of my jokes.

I grew tired of waiting and decided to go to bed.

I closed my eyes and fell asleep. Everything felt normal in my dreams. It was the standard self-deprecating type of dream - I was doing something wrong; it needed to be rectified. After the main story of my dream ended, my eyes opened to a full night's sleep and my new reality - she was no longer with me.

The First Night