After being told that Carl was gone, life changed in an instant. First and foremost, I had to tell people. I informed Carl's brother who was already enroute to the hospital but now coming here. I called my Dad. I called my sister-in-law. I called the Elementary School. I was in disbelief, shock, and dismay.
At 10am, Carl's family had arrived at my house. Together, we headed to the hospital. My family met us there. A chaplain awaited our arrival. Carl's Mom, brother, sister-in-law, and I headed to Carl's room. The curtain was drawn across the room. In the end, I chose not to witness what lie behind it. The others did. Heeding their advice, I held strong to the last images of Carl that were deeply embedded in my brain. That was enough.
I returned to the waiting room. Carl's belongings were brought to me. His briefcase, a hospital bag, and his boots - the last items that he had touched, worn, and used. It was surreal. It was incomprehensible. It was over. My Love was gone, and life would never again be the same.
Everyone returned to the house. Josiah arrived home at 11. He was happy and blissfully unaware of the tragedy that had just taken place. He knew not to be sad. He knew not that he had just lost his Dada. He smiled, laughed, and gave reason for us to carry on.
At 3:05, the big bus arrived home. The boys immediately noticed that family cars were in the driveway. They asked why. They asked what was going on. I asked them in and sat them down on the big beanbag.
It is heartbreaking to know that you are delivering the worst possible news to your children. I remembered back to Saturday. After talking to the ICU MD, I told the boys that Daddy was sicker than he had ever been. I told them that Daddy was so sick, he might have to go to Heaven to be well. The hypothetical had now become reality. I reminded them of that earlier conversation. I then broke the news that Daddy, in fact, had gone to Heaven. In that moment, the world stood still. Nobody existed but my children and I. In a room full of people, I found silence.
The boys only reaction, in that moment, was of understanding. The anticipated tears and meltdowns were null and void. Soon after, they went on to play. My heart broke as I knew the reactions would surface. I didn't know when. I didn't know to what extent. Daddy was gone. When was that information going to sink in???