I had a recent conversation with a widowed friend who told me you must do a post on all the ridiculous reasons your head comes up with to explain why your husband dropped dead. I knew exactly what she meant. When Colin died the irrational part of my brain worked as hard as the rational side in its efforts to explain why someone so seemingly fit and healthy could die so suddenly, someone that I loved so so much. The rational side accepted the facts. His heart stopped working. The electrics may have failed or a wall muscle stopped doing its job or perhaps it was one of the valves that just didn’t work at that vital moment in time. I have only properly read one paragraph of Colin’s Inquest papers. The words kind of blur after the horrific words that nonchalantly explain that due to the heart not pumping his lungs filled with fluid. I don’t need to know any more than that. He had died and there was no one or no thing really to blame but his heart or was there?
What the inquest fails to list are the many reasons my irrational, widowed and bereaved brain came up with for why he died. They might seem completely farcical in retrospect but at the time they made an awful lot of sense and in an odd way helped me because every one of these reasons became a hook to hang the inexplicable fact – Colin went out one saturday morning to play tennis and he never came home.
Just six of my real reasons why he died (there are many more but they are even more ridiculous) that the inquest didn’t quite include
1. I NEVER THOUGHT IT COULD HAPPEN
I have always had this belief where if I think of the worst thing that could happen by simply having the thought and acknowledging that this thought is the absolute worst case scenario then I have stopped that worst thing that could happen ever ever happening. It had been a failsafe for so long. I spent sooo much time worrying about Col in our time together and thinking that he might have died this worst case scenario catch-all seemed to be working. If he was late from work I would think he wasn’t just late from work somehow or other he had fallen under a tube or train on his way home but then he would eventually come home harassed from a busy day and with no mobile charge. If he didn’t call when driving back from somewhere then it was quite obvious he had been caught up in a fatal pile up on the motorway until I saw his headlights arrive outside the house. So many times I would pace the house waiting and looking anxiously out of the window until I saw him obliviously saunter up the street and put his key in the door. That Saturday morning I was perhaps too busy with the babies to worry. If I had worried and had not forgotten to think that he might die then it is clear to me that he simply wouldn’t have died that day.
2. HE CHANGED THE KETTLE THE WEEK BEFORE HE DIED
Indeed. The week before his death Col felt that the kettle my aunt had bought us several years previously was now a little too precarious to keep using. The missing section to its lid meant that the scalding steam jetting out when it boiled was more than a bit uncomfortable to allow you to use it for practical things like pouring a cup of tea. I was reluctant because my aunt had since passed away from cancer and I felt a sentimental attachment to the poor kettle. I felt Auntie Ann’s feisty spirit in that kettle and I didn’t want to replace it. Col did something he didn’t do very often and he crossed me in the matter of the kettle and went out and bought a new one and placed the old one, redundant, under the stairs. This is obviously one of the main reason’s why Colin’s heart stopped that Saturday in February three years ago, isn’t it?
3. I WAS ASLEEP
Knackered with baby rearing, I had ushered Evie, 22 months, and Isla, nine weeks, into their cot and cradle respectively. I had fallen sound asleep in our bed and had the best three hours sleep I had had in weeks. Of course, if I had been awake Colin would not have died. Fact.
4. HE HADN”T BEEN WEARING HIS WEDDING RING
Colin had decided not that long after we got married that the wedding ring he had chosen was just too bling. A bit too TOWIE I think he may have said. He hatched a plan that we would get it cut in half and one half would become the base for my belated ‘pushing present’ eternity ring and the other half would be a more comfortably conservative wedding ring for him. We never got around to doing it and this was a clear contributory factor in his death. If he had been wearing it, his link to me would have been stronger and through the force of my love I could have protected him and made his heart pump properly even though I was asleep. Clever, yes?
5. HE HAD A NEW MOBILE PHONE
And even more importantly he had changed contract all exactly one week before he died. If he had simply kept true to his Orange contract and not switched to O2 like me then his link to this world would have been strengthened, frankly. Also, if he had kept his smashed face phone then it would have had all his contacts in it. Col couldn’t work out how to transfer numbers from iPhone to iPhone so had to put them all in manually. He had only had the phone a week so I had only had time to input his mum’s number into it so he could do his daily evening chat with her on his way home. If it had had my number in (he knew that off by heart obviously) then the paramedic would have called me that day and not poor Shirley. and through my amazing power of love I could have brought him round by simply speaking to him down the phone. No defibrillator required.
6. I STOLE HIS PIN NUMBER
Just a few weeks before he died my baby brain had a malfunction at a cashline. I put in the wrong PIN number more than three times so I had to get a new card and the bank sent me a ridiculously difficult PIN number to memorize. Col had the same PIN for decades and it was amazingly easy to remember. So in that vital week preceding his death I chose to steal his PIN and make it my own. He knew I had borrowed his code and I had his blessing as it would make it easier when we would borrow each others cards for the various reasons that we did so. I can’t quite explain why this contributed to his death but I felt perhaps by stealing his PIN I had weakened his core being and identity so when it came to that heart of his – well it just stopped working because I had taken his PIN. Obviously.
Three years and one week since he died and I feel better now for revealing the truth no doctor or coroner could know.