Widow Wednesday: I Don’t Know How

When people ask, I don’t know what to say. Because I don’t really know what happened to cause Mark’s death. The physicians had theories but could never say for sure. It would be easier to be able to say “cancer” or “heart attack” but I can’t. Well, I could, but that would be a lie. Instead, I sort of stumble around. I could say he starved to death because he literally did (I never say this because it makes me feel awful). I could say he had organ failure because he did (but I don’t because I just thought of it). I could say that if it had happened all at once it would have been that he choked to death (which is sometimes what I say).  But I don’t have a short answer so the person who asked and I both end up feeling awkward. Or maybe it’s just me who does. The thing I don’t say is that he died of cirhosis of the liver even though it’s what is on his death certificate. And I don’t say it because it’s what the first set of doctors said, but the second set of doctors contradicted it.

So, I say that Mark got a stomach bug, couldn’t stop throwing up, and every time he threw up he aspirated, and every time he aspirated it caused brain damage, until finally there was enough brain damage that he went into a coma that he wasn’t going to recover from, so I had his body taken off of life support, he breathed on his own but he slowly wasted away over 8 days until he finally stopped breathing. But that’s just what we *think* happened. Because except for the brain damage, Mark’s body was perfectly healthy when we took him off life support. Because we weren’t able to do an autopsy, even though his physician ordered it, because of a bureaucratic mix up. Simple, no?

I get mad every time I see Mark’s death certificate because he worked so hard to get sober, I hate that it has cirrhosis of the liver as his cause of death.

Not that you asked.