I’m definitely on to something lately. The missing part of this hasn’t changed. I miss Jon. I can’t seem to explain that enough to people, even when I’m not explaining it.

But my thoughts are altering. I am changing. The hurt and pain of loss is no longer a constant throb. It took me completely by surprise, because I expected it to last for years. I didn’t realize it until I had a bout with the Grief Monster, and it all but crippled me, very suddenly.

I was sitting in my bathtub early yesterday morning, trying to organize my day and get some prayer in before I had to take off. And one thought led to another. My most painful memory, that led to many more painful memories about Jon, and the world on that day, came rushing back to me at full force. I was suddenly in the ER again, deep within the struggle for his life. He was laying there, with two nurses monitoring his oxygen levels, and pumping air into his lungs. He couldn’t breathe on his own.

His doctor at Southern Hills turned to me and told me his very grave opinion. “This is serious.” He said, “I’ve seen some people wake up in a weeks time from things like this, and they go back to their lives, eventually. But only some. I’m pretty sure he had an aneurysm. And I don’t know if he’ll be one of the ones to wake up. I’m sorry.”

I know that sounds somber and devastating to most. But to me, I only heard the words: “I’ve seen some people wake up in a weeks time…and they go back to their lives…” I had a tiny sliver of hope at that point. I believed.

When the Paramedic arrived to take Jon to Desert Springs; he learned quickly that Jon was still seizing and biting his air tube. But he was also at 90 percent, when 20 minutes earlier, he was at 60. I could see my fervent prayers working. My sliver was growing.  I believed.

But the Paramedic was afraid he wouldn’t be able to keep oxygen going through his tube, and requested Ativan. Even then, I realized that if Jon was fighting and going up to 90 percent oxygen, that Ativan would sedate him, and he wouldn’t have a chance. The ER Doc spoke my words. “No – He doesn’t need it. His oxygen is getting better.”

But the Paramedic argued, “I don’t want him to bite down on my tube. Especially in transit.”

At the time, I didn’t understand that they were sending Jon to Desert Springs because that is where they do organ donation in town. The facilities they had at Southern Hills were more than capable for a patient with a chance, but they didn’t do the organ donation services there. I was led to believe that the doctors at Desert Springs were more experienced with Jon’s affliction.

Of course, you can follow my thinking. The paramedics showed up to take Jon to die. And he didn’t care about Jon fighting for his life, because there really wasn’t proof that he would live. They gave him a small dose, after quietly consulting with the doctor, and I had no control over that. And I wasn’t thinking. But had I been, I might have said something. I don’t know if it would have helped, although I wish I had the chance.

I realize that I have to forgive the Paramedic, who was obviously just doing his job. He had no idea that Jon’s wife and mother were listening, unwittingly, to a plan to take away Jon’s last chance at life.

When Jon arrived at Desert Springs, he was sedate and all but lifeless. And his oxygen went down to 50 percent. And by the time I had arrived, Jon’s brother had already been told that there was nothing left that they could do. He told me, sobbing openly, that he didn’t make it. All I can say, is thank God for denial. I still didn’t think he wouldn’t live.

How do I forgive a scene that could arguably appear as sinister as it does to me? I understand those that want to keep their loved ones alive with someone else’s organs. I wanted to keep Jon alive with his own. I also know that laws and rules are in place by hospitals and local governments to keep people from harvesting organs this way. I know they followed protocol. But I STILL can’t shake the feeling that they chose the opportunity rather than the sliver of hope I had, and came out with an outcome that benefited everyone else. But us.

These thoughts brought about a low-hitting tremor of grief that I haven’t felt in a few months. So heavy and deep, that I sobbed into my bathwater, and wished it was deep enough to drown me.

This is probably one of the last hurdles I have to deal with, before I settle into the long stretch of life I have left, missing Jon, but no longer in acute pain.

I realize I could be just touching an ice burg of things that I have forgotten in and around those awful three months, where everything is lost in a misty grey fog. I am not eager to remember very much else. But I am also slowly believing in a future. It’s not the one I wanted, but I’m learning that it’s not so bad to be alone in it. Without Jon is less than ideal. But I was Maria before him. I am remembering that I can be Maria after him, too.