Our Sad News

It happened. December 10, 2021, Greg suffered an aortic dissection, and he suddenly passed away. He was not home when it happened, and that is something I have always prayed my kids would not have to witness. For that I am grateful. He had been at the house playing with the kids just hours before, and then he went on a walk with me before leaving the house. He told the kids he was having some back pain, and later texted me to tell me he was having pain but didn’t think he needed to go to the hospital. And then he was gone. Just like that. 

It was shocking to say the least. When Greg was first diagnosed with vEDS almost 5 years ago, we didn’t know if he would live much longer. He had just suffered a renal artery dissection, and he kept having dissection after dissection. We treated every day like it was our last together. Time went on, and Greg’s health became more stable. We were starting to dare to plan years into the future with the hope that Greg still had many years to live. The thought that his death could happen at any moment still lurked in the back of our heads, but things seemed hopeful. Some people with vEDS live into old age, and we hoped for that. While Greg’s death was anticipated, it was also shocking and sudden. We didn’t get to say goodbye, and I know that if we had been given that chance, some things would be easier for all of us. 

The past 6 weeks have been filled with so many emotions in my house. We have all had to do things that most people only have nightmares about. I had to tell my young children their dad died. I saw the shock and sadness on my children’s faces when they saw his body at the viewing and their tears as the casket was closed. I buried my best friend and love. And now I am completely responsible for 6 young children, a house, and everything that comes with it. That’s a lot. Life is overwhelming. 

My kids have to live their lives without their dad in it. Some of them live in fear that every pain they have could lead to their own sudden death. There is a lot of sadness and anxiety at our house.  Each one is dealing with things differently, but each is having a hard time. Within 5 weeks, we celebrated Christmas, New Years, 2 kids’ birthdays, and Greg’s birthday. Lots of firsts. It has been hard. We are not really doing well, and that is to be expected. 

I have thought a lot about if and how I want to continue with this website. I feel that I want to continue, as writing is therapeutic for me. I know that my experiences can be helpful to others, if for no other reason than to help them know they aren’t alone. I also feel it is best to be real and honest. It seems that those who go through big losses and trials are sometimes expected to become examples of triumph and faith. We have this idea that rising above our hardships is the goal. That is a lot of pressure. Reality is that maybe we just need to learn to deal with and live with our hardships and losses, and maybe we will learn some important lessons along the way. Loss is hard. Grief is hard. That is real. I promise I won’t be a downer, but I do want to be as honest as I dare to be.

I miss Greg. It is amazing the small things that I miss. The sound of his footsteps and his shoe that always squeaked when he walked in the door. The unusual way he sat on the couch. The strange spices he would put in the food he cooked. The way he brushed his teeth while reclining in bed. There is so much. We are doing our best to figure out what life looks like without him here, and we will figure it out. It will just take some time. 

There is also much to be grateful for. We have been shown God’s love through those around us, and I have no doubt that His hand is in my life. I am so grateful for our amazing family and friends and the love we have been shown during this difficult time.

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