And with those four little words, my entire world turned upside down.
Some of you know, but most of you don't. I found out yesterday that my ex-husband (the second one) was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Through a series of messages today, I found out that his condition had deteriorated quickly - multiple organs were failing and he was on a ventilator. I packed up the kids and we went to our friends' house to hang out, because I didn't want to be at home alone when I got the word. At about 7:30pm my time I received another message - "He didn't make it." I looked at my phone and couldn't breathe. I handed the phone to my friends so that they could see the message too, and I lost it. Completely and totally lost it.
Our marriage was not a fairy tale story by any stretch of the imagination. We met online, we rushed into a relationship and we rushed into a marriage. We both had our demons - his was alcohol - but we tried to work past them. There were numerous times when the police were called to our home because the drinking had gotten out of hand, and he did a stint in rehab, but the lure of the alcohol was always too strong.
Kicking him out for the final time was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life, but I had to protect myself and my kids. Since that time, I have had very little contact with him. I have not seen him in over a year and a half, and he has not seen our son in that long either.
I told my girls about him being in the hospital first. I knew that I had to tell them - to prepare them - because I wasn't sure how I was going to react when I found out that he was gone. They were devastated. So they knew as soon as I broke down at our friends' house what had happened. I waited until we got home to tell my 6 year old. He didn't fully grasp it, and I didn't expect him to. I haven't told my 5 year old yet, and I haven't told our son.
I have gone through a complete rollercoaster of emotions today. I am pissed off at him - I don't know what the official cause of death was, but I'm quite sure that alcohol played a part in it. Why couldn't he just stop drinking? Why was booze so damned important to him that he gave up his LIFE for it? I am sad that our son will never know his father. He was not quite 2 years old when he left, and doesn't even ask about him. He has never asked me why he didn't have a daddy in his life, and now when he does, I have to tell him that his daddy is dead. I am devastated because even though our marriage wasn't perfect, I still believed that deep down inside, there was a good man trying to get out. I still had that tiny little glimmer of hope that at some point, he would get the help that he needed and become a father to our son, even if from a distance.
Now, any hope is gone. He is gone. I didn't expect to feel this many emotions. I didn't expect to have this horrible pain in my chest and the knot in my stomach and the eyes that are almost swollen shut from crying. Our divorce was just final 20 days ago, and I thought that the emotional rollercoaster was over. Sadly, I think I just got back on for another ride.
I know that we will get through this. I know that we will be fine. But right now, I am hurting. I think I am hurting more than I ever have before. Not only am I still mourning the end of our marriage, but now I am mourning the death of a man with whom I was once crazy in love.