I lost the only true love of my life and my best friend

I lost the only true love of my life and my best friend

by Jennifer

April 12 my best friend/fiancee' turned 36 years old in Heaven. I lost Steve unexpectedly on November 29, 2000. We were going to get engaged at Christmas. We made many plans and had many hopes and dreams.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving together. The night of November 28th we had stayed up until around 2:30 a.m. talking about how much we loved each other and how it was the happiest either one of us had ever been in our lives. I finally went to bed because I had a headache,but he stayed up watching TV and fell asleep on the couch.

When I went to wake him for work the next morning, I saw some papers sitting next to him. The first thing I read was a one page letter done on a yellow legal tablet. It was a letter to me saying how he loves me so much, wants to live happily ever after with me, how he can't believe how good & complete he feels with me, how he can't imagine ever being apart from me again, how he'll never cheat on me, lie to me or abuse me, or leave me, and how he wants to be someone I can be proud of and believe in on a daily basis.

He must have fallen asleep while writing it because it ended in mid-sentence and was unsigned. I started to wake him up. He was snoring very loudly and making a sound I had never heard him make before. He wouldn't wake up. I started pulling on his arms and shaking his face. Then I got a cold wet washcloth and started wiping him with it but he still didn't wake up. I left him alone and started to get ready to go to my sister's to baby-sit my nephews.

I wrote him a note saying I was a little worried because I couldn't wake him up and for him to call me at my sister's as soon as he got up. I went to lay it next to him and walk out the door but saw that there was foam coming out of the side of his mouth and he was no longer making that snoring sound. He's a big teddy bear with a big belly and all of a sudden I realized his belly was no longer moving up and down. Then I called my sister and said I may not be there to baby-sit because I couldn't wake Steve. She asked if he was breathing and I said I didn't think so and she said to call 911 (Duh!).

It was like I was in a fog or something. Why I didn't call them sooner I don't know. While 911 had me on the line they asked if I knew CPR and I said I did and they said to drag him to the floor and they'd talk me through it. I tried but I couldn't budge him. Within five minutes I heard the sirens. They got his pulse back and got a heartbeat. They brought Steve out to the ambulance (where they had me) to take him to the hospital and I had to go back in the house to answer the Police Lieutenant's cold questions.

I started screaming his name, pushing on him really hard and pulling each of his eyelids up.

There were police cars and unmarked cars galore parked all along my street. The cops asked if they could look around my house and asked me a bunch of questions. They took the note I had written to Steve. I guess that was "evidence!" Luckily I had grabbed the letter he'd written me and had it in my pocket. They treated me like I was a suspect or criminal. When I got to the hospital he was still unconscious but was on a breathing machine and breathing.

After many tests were done the CAT scan showed he was brain dead and that the next 72 hours would be critical as to whether or not he'd pull through. The doctors were totally puzzled and had no clue what was wrong with him or what had happened. 12 long hours later after my family and my and his friends had left I sat with him and held his hand and told him I loved him, I didn't want him to go, that I wanted him back, but if he had to go then go ahead and go and if he'd watch over me somehow I'll be okay.

Those words came out of nowhere. I hadn't rehearsed them or agonized over what to say. I said those words, kissed him, and the nurse said, "Honey, he just left. He waited for you to tell him that." He hung on all day and after I gave him permission then he left. I called my parents and my mom came back to the hospital. I kept telling him good-bye and trying to leave but it took me a couple hours. I just couldn't leave him.

An autopsy was done that showed his heart had blocked arteries and was five times the size of a normal, healthy heart. His half-brother and only living blood relative decided to have him cremated because it was cheaper that way. I asked him for the ashes and first he said yes but apparently an ex-girlfriend of Steve's from over 10 years ago didn't think it was fair and now he won't let me have them.

I wanted to keep them to myself for a week or so then purchase a plot to bury them in and have a headstone made and a place I and his friends could go to. He and his half-brother had just reestablished contact after 10-15 years. His brother complained and cursed the entire time about how expensive the prayer cards cost, the funeral expenses, etc... My dad even offered to Steve's half-brother that he (my dad) would pay for the cost of setting up the grave and headstone or a space in a crematorium and gave him his phone number and told him to think about it and give him a call if he'd like him to do it. Instead Steve's ashes are disrespected, sitting in a cardboard box, in his half-brother's closet with their dad's ashes and the half-brother's grandma's ashes. It makes me sick.

I had a stroke 2 years ago from a blood clot in my vertebral artery, had blood clots in my legs and lungs 12 years ago, and have a constant 24/7 headache which doesn't respond to pain killers. Crying all the time doesn't help. I went to a support group a few times which I felt was hurting more than helping so I quit that one and just went to my second meeting of a different one which seems to fit my needs better than the other one. It is so hard, though.

None of my friends or family can relate or understand what I am going through.

I am pulling back and avoiding my friends as much as possible. Their lives are going on as normal and they expect to be able to talk to me about normal everyday things, but it is all so trivial to me. My world has stopped. My family is good about listening and trying to help me in any way they can and I am very lucky to have such a close family, however they have never had a close loss like this.

I am so lonely, angry, sad, and can't sleep. I feel a constant aching in my heart. I have been journaling, going to grief web sites, and am reading as many grief and bereavement books as I can. I also have a collection of special poems and prayers.

Thanks for listening.

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