The following excerpts are taken from my journey entries from the 1st January 2014 – the first day I started writing. They record what happened on that day – 23rd November 2013.
Every day since you died I wake up. My first thought is always – Scott died. He’s never coming home. I’m alone.
I remember sitting in front of the TV in the black chair, still in my pjamas, eating donuts, except they were those whoopie pie things that you get from New World. This was my usual position when Scott went away. Chilling, watching junk TV, eating junk food. I had a missed call but I didn’t recognise the number. I don’t answer phone calls from blocked ID’s on the weekend. Half an hour later I received another call. This time from Bruce. This didn’t alarm me. Scott was often using other people’s phones to call me. He was shocking with phones, always destroying them, losing them. The insurance companies refused to cover him for phone damage due to all his claims. Bruce was saying that Scotty had been in an accident. That he’s ok. He’s talking. Hes in a helicopter on his way to Nelson hospital. But I should come. He’d need support.
I was thrown for a second. It was just after 12.30. I’d just received a text from him an hour ago. Come on brain. Process. He’d been in a head on collision. My heart sunk. The sinking feeling continued down into my gut and from then on my brain behaved badly. I went upstairs to take a shower then thought I must book a flight. It was 1.30pm. The flight was at 4pm. I hadn’t packed yet. I had a shower – Not a short shower. The shower is my thinking place. I needed to think. I had a feeling – a bad feeling, a feeling that I hadn’t experienced before.
I started packing. When I looked out the window there was a police car in the driveway and 2 policemen pounding on the door. They’d been sent around to tell me that Scotty had been in a serious accident. That I must call the hospital. I was annoyed with them. I knew that already and they were wasting my time. Mainly I was annoyed at myself for wasting time because I’d had a shower.
I called the hospital. They said I must get down there ASAP. He was in a critical condition. Assholes! I called people. Then I updated the neighbour on the way out. The police hadn’t offered to drive me so I sped off from home at 3pm. I was driving erratically down the highway, without a seat belt on and on my phone without hands free. I was in a crazy state. When I got to the airport I couldn’t find a carpark so I dumped the car in a handicapped zone, left the keys in it and called a friend to come and pick it up – and just ran. I’d missed the boarding call. The staff told me to run. So stressed. I made it on time. I sat in the plane in turmoil, crying the whole way across. I was picked up by the boys. It was a glorious sunny Nelson day. Everything felt wrong with it being so glorious. WTF?
I wanted to go straight to the hospital. It was like we were turning up for a friendly visit. We were directed down silent corridors to a tiny waiting room. It was deserted. We 3 sat there, Bruce the voice of reason telling us that we can only go on the information that we had to date, there was no point stressing. I didn’t want to believe what I had already felt at 12.30, that he had gone already. So we 3 sat there, pretending that there was a chance. Bruce left to get pizza. At this stage he’d been in surgery for 6 hours. Every hour that passed felt like it was an added possibility that I could be wrong. After all, he’s built like a brick shithouse plus he loves receiving attention.
The police come in to take statements. They’d only been there for a few minutes before one of the surgeons asks them to leave. Instant apprehension. He didn’t say a lot. Serious internal injuries. Couldn’t stop bleeding. Extensive damage to internal organs. He was almost certain – 95% certain that he wouldn’t survive. He wasn’t going to make it. Time stood still. SLES. They weren’t even sure if he would survive the transfer from the operating theatre to ICU. He might die on the way before we could say goodbye. Instant shock. I asked if we could go into theatre.
The next thing I know we’re being ushered into ICU. Its a curtained cubicle. We’re not given gowns or anything sterile, but I didn’t acknowledge that at the time.
I look at him. I know he’s already gone. It doesn’t look like him. The anaesthetist introduces himself. He states that within 30 minutes the machines will stop and Scotty will die. I feel annoyed. He has a 5% chance – the surgeon said so. As soon as the anaesthetist leaves Scotty W and I start talking to him, trying to rouse him, like what happens in the movies when there’s a miraculous recovery. But there isn’t. Heart death isn’t like on Greys Anatomy when the line goes flat on the screen because they turn the machines off. Because there’s no hope. There are no warning bells to tell us that he slipped away at 7.30pm.
His body then, has no interest for me. It didn’t hold him anymore. Some of the boys turn up at the hospital. I invite them in to say their goodbyes. We tell stories. We laugh. We pray. We stayed until there wasn’t anymore reason to be there.
Where? Where has it gone, that light, that spark, that love that looked into mine? What has it to do with that cold clay? Its here, here, here in my heart. He’s in me, around me. Nothing in that clay.
The police officer gave me his wedding ring. He’d been wearing it. He doesn’t usually wear his ring. I clung to that ring like it was a life line and I was drowning.