If You Knew….

If you knew  you or your loved one had one day left on earth…what would you do? How would you spend your last 24 hours as a family?

I think about this often as Darin died suddenly and we did not have a chance to say goodbye. If we knew he was dying and only had 24 hours to live, what would we have done? What would we have said to one another?

Here is our story….

245 days ago, I was a wife to a wonderful man. Life was perfect. Darin was not feeling well (sore jaw and a toothache) so he went to the dentist. I vividly remember when he came back from the dentist. As soon as I saw him, I asked him what the dentist said. I was convinced that if there was something serious, the dentist would tell him to go to the ER immediately. Darin said everything was fine. I was so relieved.

A couple hours later, Darin was not feeling well. His headache was so severe I decided he should go to the ER. Tylenol and Advil were not working and he started vomitting. My gut was telling me this was something bad. Darin never had headaches and he never vomitted.

While waiting in the ER, I started talking to a woman that was waiting for her mother. Her mother was in bad shape and I remember thinking thank goodness Darin was only here for a headache and that he would be ok. I felt sorry for the lady that was waiting for news about her mother.

I was so happy to see Darin come out of the ER. I remember thinking how handsome he was and how relieved I was that we went to the ER. If anything was wrong, they would be able to help him right away…..right? The diagnosis was a tooth infection and he was prescribed Morphine.  I was so relieved….a tooth infection…phew. I could stop worrying now.

Darin was in too much pain to talk or do anything that day. He laid in bed and I did my work.  Looking back, I realize how little we talked that day. He was in too much pain so I left him alone.  Little did I know that within 24 hours he would be gone.

Later that evening, I knew something was wrong so Darin went to the ER again. I remember thinking…..”what if this is brain cancer or something serious.”  Then I remembered what Darin always told me…..”we can face anything together.” I felt reassured that we could face whatever the outcome was.

Darin came home from the ER around 3 am. I tried to talk to him and but he was barely coherent. He managed to tell me that they froze his tooth and that he was feeling a bit better. He went to bed and I laid beside him. I told him that I loved him and held his hand.

Darin was having trouble sleeping and I noticed that he was delirious. I called the hospital right away. He was acting very bizarre and taking gibberish. Little did I know this was the beginning of the end. Shortly after, I called 911. They were here in a few minutes but it felt like forever. I knew in heart this was it. I knew that Darin was dead.

The paramedics took Darin to the hospital and told us to take our time. He was in bad shape and not to rush. I remember thinking this was all a dream. My healthy 44 year old husband was not being rushed to the hospital, he was not in the ambulance that was speeding down the street.

My BIL took me to the hospital and we were ushered into a small waiting room. I knew this was a bad sign. I will never forget sitting in the room, waiting for news. Shortly after we arrived, a doctor and nurse came in. They told us they were desperately trying to save him but he was extremely critical. I felt weak and could barely breathe….this could not be happening. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs.

A while later, a doctor came into the room. As soon as he sat down, I knew what he was going to say. It was such a surreal feeling. I remember hearing bit and pieces…”I am so sorry”. “There was nothing we could do.” “We tried.” “I don’t know why a healthy man could die so young.”

As I look back and reflect on this terrible time, I thank God that Darin and I were happy and in love. I thank God that we said “I Love You” everynight before we went to bed. If we knew he was dying and only had 24 hours to live, what would we have done? What would we have said to one another?

We received the Coroner’s Report this week. Darin died from cardiac arrest caused by an undetected colloid cyst in the brain. It is extremely rare to die from this condition.

Please hug and kiss your loved ones and tell them you love them. Life is short.


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11 Responses to If You Knew….

  1. Brandee says:

    Ann, my heart breaks for you. The love that you shared is evident.

  2. Paula says:

    Life is truly much shorter than what any one of us may think. I’m so sorry that you lost your husband this way and I can imagine how difficult that coroner’s report was to read. Your Darin knew that he was deeply loved by you and your children and while nothing can really bring you comfort, I hope that one day this fact does.
    Fourteen years ago my sister lost her husband suddenly, from a heart attack just after he was given a clean bill of health by his physician for an insurance exam. The coroners report came back and it was evident that his death could have been prevented. He was 49 years old. His son was 16 and his daughter 12. None of them had a chance to say goodbye but he knew that he was loved too because all of them expressed it to one another every day.

  3. Sandy Webb says:

    I have said from the beginning that I was lucky to have 7 months with TJ before he died. We knew he was going to die and we talked about EVERYTHING! We didn’t get to do things and have fun because he was too sick, but we talked and talked. I know how hard it is to write posts like this, but people need to know to not take life for granted.

  4. heather says:

    heartbreaking….I wish I had had more time with Zackie too…the sudden end is so unbelievable and yet if it took longer, would there be any less pain. I’m not sure. Hugging boys daily…xox

  5. Dianne / Smilenwaven says:

    FUCK – life is SO unfair sometimes! Sorry… but those are the 1st words that come to mind. xoxo

  6. MagzD says:

    Your bravery, your strength, being able to write this on a page…I can’t fathom it. You’re living my greatest fear, and I hope that you continue to heal and love deeply. I’ll keep hugging my girls and my husband tighter every day, no matter what. Thank you for being strong enough to share with us. xoxo and much love

  7. I am so sorry for your loss, what a terrible, terrible tragedy.

  8. Anna says:

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine how awful this experience must have been for you. All I can say is you must be a very strong woman to be getting through this. Your story gives me a new appreciation for everything I have. Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best as you continue your grieving journey.