I beat them there.
I’m not sure how I did it.
The ambulance had left our house, blue light flashing, before me.
They’d blocked the drive,
I wondered if my neighbours would be quietly seething at the inconvenience
As I rang my dad and Chris’ mum to make arrangements so the kids still got to go to sleep in their own beds
So they woke in their own beds
So there was some routine to their Sunday night.
Through the darkness, the pouring rain
An old friend appeared in the doorway.
I have never been so relieved to see someone.
A moment of fate, of timing being right, on my side for a change
Offering calm in the mayhem
Encouraging steely determination that I’d get through the night
They’d asked me, the paramedics
As they were putting Chris on the stretcher
‘Sorry for the question, but is there a DNR?’
No, I replied
Not like this.
I’d like you to try your best if it gets to that
He’s sticking with us for a bit longer yet
‘Sundays are a boring day to die on Chris.’
Reality is catching up with me
I have been running from the unimaginable
But it’s faster than me
It’s closing in, the gap has shortened, filling my thoughts and dreams
Stealing sleep and happiness and laughter
It has often been easy for me to forget Chris is so ill
He has been so, well
He has looked so, well.
It’s in moments like this
As I stand outside resus, waiting for him
I am taunted with my reality
A spotlight shines brightly on the seriousness of the situation
Illuminating all the bits of our lives we’ve pushed to overcome with stubborn positivity.
It’s no longer easy to forget how poorly he really is,
And how quickly things can change.
I am losing my grip on all the things I have used to cope
Of taking each day as it comes
As I’m forced to look at what might be.
Emotions rise to the surface as control gives way to fear.
There’s so much still to do
So much I need to say
So much we need to arrange
So much we need to talk about, so I can get it right.
There is still laughter waiting to be had.
I wait for them to monitor and prod and test.
Someone dies, someone has been burnt, someone’s heart has stopped
There are tears from families in shock
Tears as they hold each other because the unimaginable has happened.
Now is not the time for him
It can’t be.
Not like this.