I had just arrived at a baby shower last Sunday for my cousin. I was designing a onsie with some cute little bunnies and a clever Latin phrase freestyled in cursive on it when I got a call from my former mother in law. “Come home, accident, ambulance, police, you’re coming home right?” was about all I could understand. I felt that pit of dread hit me and I started shaking. I was over 35 miles away, I couldn’t drive safely, I stood there in shock while my cousin rounded up his dad to bring me home.
On the ride back I got confirmation that my ex husband had died. He was working on the truck in our driveway and somehow the jack slipped and the secondary blocks he had in place didn’t hold. He was crushed under the axle and he died immediately. His mother found him and I can’t even imagine how terrible that must have been. I don’t want to think about how awful it would have been if I had come home to find him.
I got home and the police had blocked off our yard. They asked me a couple of questions but I barely remember what they said now, I think they wanted to know when I left that morning and if we were fighting. I left early and we weren’t fighting, my last words to him was “I love you” before I took off to go to synagogue for yahrzeit for my dad. I may not have wanted to be in a romantic relationship with him but I still cared. We still lived together, we still shopped together, we still hung out and ate meals together. Just like that…the freedom I’d been asking for was granted, in the worst possible way.
I’ve spent the last 5 1/2 days running the gauntlet of emotions. Unlike the grief over the last 3 losses in my life (I’m beginning to not know how to have a summer without someone I love dying unexpectedly) this one was complicated. My relationship with Mike was complex, dysfunctional, co-dependent and overly familiar, yet he was still family to me. I go between being mad at him and grieving him and wondering if I am allowed to feel like this might end up having a positive effect on my life. Yes he was so shitty to me for so long but he also did so many great things for me. Thus the grieving can’t be straightforward.
I think I’m becoming desensitized to people I love dying. I don’t think that’s a good thing. Maybe I’m just awash in apathy. I don’t know. I’m just hoping that the drama died with him and maybe I can start fresh now. Maybe I can find some peace and happiness once the shock wears off. I do know I’m grateful for the outpouring of support I’ve received. I really couldn’t get through this alone and I hope I have some positive news soon.