little did I know…

I wish I had known when I posted my last resistant ‘goodbye’ post, that a real goodbye would manifest shortly after.  (I don’t know why I think this way – I guess I figure things are easier when you know they are coming?)

maybe not.  I don’t know anything anymore.

***caution–should any of my family members come across this post, please stop reading now.  quite frankly, this is how I am coping with the tragic loss we have all experienced:  I write.***

oooffff.  this goodbye really hurts.

and has shaken my concept of  faith and what the point of this life is.  this one rocked me to my core.  I have concluded that no matter how ‘good’ or how ‘bad’ one is – death cannot be avoided.

maybe we are all on a pre-determined pathway, and no matter what we do to postpone death – it finds us.

backing up a couple of days…

I woke up on Monday happy and excited for the day ahead, coupled with nerves and anxiety for the upcoming MBTI assessment session I had scheduled for Tuesday night.  excited for the good things up ahead.  and in the present.  Monday was a great day, full of gratitude for all the blessings in my life.

but then something shifted after that Tuesday night assessment session was over.

I felt something come over me.

something did not feel right in the world.  beyond all the chaos that currently is out there.  closer to home this time.

could it be fear for the upcoming flight to Seoul?  I sat with that concept for a few moments.

and it checked out fine.

it was something else.

something bad was going to happen.  I just knew it.  but it was undetermined.  nor could I pinpoint when it might happen. or for whom.

so I shrugged it off as much as possible Tuesday night.  redirecting my focus to jotting down my notes for the MBTI Interpretation Summary.

Wednesday morning after having early morning dreams of my cousins’ boys, I eye-balled a sliver of my new, unworn, and untagged Target dress while getting ready for work.  super cute.  black with tiny green and blue strokes.  flowy.  conservative enough to wear to work.  so I carefully extracted it from my stuffed closet, and held it in front of me.  huh.  weirdness number two strikes as the thought washed in, I can wear this to the next funeral we have to go to…and then I felt the same strangeness I had felt the night before come over me…I shook it off.  didn’t know what to do with that thought.  so I boxed it up and put it away.

but the strange, wary feeling did not leave completely.

on the way into work that morning, as I pulled into my parking spot at 7:30, a voice said to me, you are not going to Korea this weekend.

that one stuck and rippled goosebumps all up and down my body.

what is it?  is something going to happen with my hub? I mentally pleaded for answers.

silence.

so I berated myself all morning for all my regular fearful thoughts that may now be manifesting.  and tried to ignore them.  but you know how when you try to ignore something, it grows?  it started to grow.  but I managed to keep it in the background.

after an interesting afternoon meeting, I returned to my desk, and noticed that I had a missed called from a blocked number and my voicemail light was illuminated.  hmmm.  I’ll grab it later.  and I checked my iPhone and I had two missed calls from a blocked number. so  I opted to pick up my vm on my office line.

it’s my mother.  I am to call her immediately, were her instructions.  I instantly thought of my Grandma – something had happened to her.  but that just didn’t fit, so I shrugged it off while one of my staff members appeared in my office asking questions.

my phone rings.  and I look over.

‘excuse me, I have to grab this call,’ I say as the employee quietly retreats.

I pick up the phone, and without saying hello, ask my husband, ‘have you talked to her?’

‘yes,’ comes the reply, ‘have you?’

‘no, I just got back to my desk.  what’s happened?’

I hear an exhale of breath on the other end from my hub.

‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but your cousin…’ he pauses.  seeking composure where there is none to be found.

I can tell he is crying at this time.

‘what happened?’ I pleaded again.

‘he was…he was riding his bike this morning.  and was hit by a truck.’

‘is he okay?’ I choke out the question as I see visions of my cousin being hooked up to every machine possible while lying in a hospital bed.

‘no, no, he’s not.  I just don’t know how to say this, Erin….he died this morning.’

all the air is evacuates out of my body, and I can’t breathe.  the world slants all around me.  I gasp hard and cover my mouth with my hand, as I try not to scream.  silence on both ends of the phone line.  I’m choking at this point without any oxygen feeling my stomach lurch, trying hard not to throw up.

I gulp in some air and find my trembly voice, ‘oh my God. oh my God. why??  how could this happen to him??  this should have been me, not him.  he doesn’t deserve this.  what is [his wife] going to do, what is she going to do?’  I manage to get out in a crazy stream.

I feel tears on my chin that I didn’t know where there.  after I hang up the phone.

the waves of tears don’t stop for 24 hours.  on and off, on and off.  slowly, as I lean into my grief the gaps between the waves of tears lengthen.

still in shock today.  four days later.  we bury him on Wednesday.  in the cemetery where my grandfather is laid to rest.

did not see this one coming.  period.

why?

how?

how can any of us make sense of this?

he was a constant.  a staple.  for many.

I don’t know how any of us are going to get through this.

life will never be the same.

thank God, my hub will be by my side.  there is a reason that my hub and I never had kids; there are soo many kids around us that need our love and support.

God bless, you, cuz.  may you find peace wherever you are now.  your presence, mad skills, brilliance, and humor will be missed by many.

remember when you and your brother met me @ Claim Jumper for some beers and grub while I was going through my divorce?  and when you opened your arms wide to my Tim? and before that…when we used to chat while you were @ UCLA and I was at UCI?  and all the crazy family holiday get-togethers when we were kids?  the time we watched Twilight Zone for HOURS on Thanksgiving?  and the time when I was 8 when I made you and your brother dance to my Barbie Party vinyl record with me?  and then when Granddad died.  you started wearing his wedding ring.  and then Xmas last year when you wanted to know everything about my MS, and it felt like I had just seen you the day before??

I remember all of that.  like it was yesterday.

you were the one who always saw me, and never judged or criticized me.  you were so interested in what was going on.  with me.  as I was with you.

I love and miss you.

every day matters.  doesn’t it?

xoxo

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