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.