I kissed him good bye and we said our last words, though at the time I did not know they would be our last to each other.
As Manager on Duty, I busied myself at work that Sunday, not knowing that my husband was dead in my home the entire time. That haunts me. I came home to a suicide note.
Every time I think about being Manager on Duty, I picture myself that day, blissfully and horrifically unaware that Rick was already dead at home. Manager on Duty is forever associated with the day my husband died, because it is what I was doing when he wrote me a note, when he took his last breath, when he died.
Perhaps if I had worked for my company longer...perhaps if I had been Manager on Duty several times already before Rick's death, the association would not be so strong. But as it happened, my first and only time being MOD was the day Rick died. Was the worst day of my life. So if I think about being MOD, the only other thing that correlates for me is Rick killing himself.
Shortly after Rick's death, it was time for all of the managers at my job - including myself - to sign up for MOD weekends again. I stared at my computer and couldn't even fathom having to do such a triggering and terrible thing so soon. I sent out an email to my fellow managers explaining my concern about being MOD again so soon after such a traumatic event. They picked up the slack and all the weekends got covered without me having to choose one during the next quarter. I was so grateful.
But now the time has come. I am MOD this weekend. All I can think about is that the last time I was MOD, Rick committed suicide. I am terribly anxious and definitely feeling PTSD-esque symptoms and worries. I know that I do not have to relive that day. I know that it will be okay. But it still feels awful right now. Tomorrow when I leave for work, I think it will be okay. I expect a looming sense of dread, but I am hopeful I can manage to get in my car and go. Tomorrow when I'm there, I think it will be okay. I expect to be busy and focused on other things. But tomorrow when I leave my MOD duties to come home, all my mind envisions is the suicide note that was on the table... the body in the basement... the frantic, horrible 911 call I made... the collapse outside my house... the hours I spent in the ambulance getting oxygen and crying hysterically... the neighbors watching everything like it was a news program...
I know that this weekend doesn't have to be scary. I know that it will not all happen again. But the association is so strong and my heart feels very heavy tonight.
I do have a plan. My friend Jennifer will be waiting for me at my house when I get home from being Manager on Duty tomorrow. And my mom will be waiting for me at my house when I get home from being Manager on Duty on Sunday. I won't have to walk into my house alone. And if I have flashbacks or remember awful things, someone will be with me.
I think right now it's unreasonable for me to hope I won't cry tomorrow. I cried just telling my mom how nervous I was tonight. I woke up with a throbbing headache today from grinding my teeth all night and clenching my jaw in my sleep.
I'll end on a positive note. I am choosing to be thankful in advance that this weekend will be okay. As my blog tagline has said in the righthand corner from the very beginning:
"Tomorrow may bring pain, but it cannot steal my joy."