This Sunday, January 10, 2010 Dear Husband and I were freezing out in record breaking cold for Florida in the dog park with Zoey. It was misty, sunny, bitter cold and damp and we laughed seeing her run not knowing the day that lay ahead of us.
My mom’s cousin was staying with her for the holidays and was getting ready to go to mass. He had spent Christmas and New Year’s with us and had fun with his friends, danced, ate, talked, laughed. Little did he know that this would be his last Christmas, this would be the last time he ate 12 grapes, this would be the year he took his last breath.
Alfonso died in my mom’s house Sunday at noon with family and friends present. His death was sudden and happily painless. He passed away from a massive heart attack. A heart attack on a man who walked miles each day, active, healthy and young. He was 56 years old.
One always watches in movies, TV shows, etc when the doctors come to the family, serious faced, tired from working on saving a life, wrinkled and ashamed it seems that they cannot perform miracles; they look at the family and sadly say there was nothing they could do. Then the family cries and the doctor goes away. It is so different in person. It is so different when you know what they are going to say. It is so different when you know what’s behind the serious faces. It is so different when you know what hides behind the pitying looks and when the nurse holds your hand. It is so different when you have no doubt that he has passed away and still a corner in your heart hopes you are wrong. It doesn’t happen like in the movies, clean and sharp, done in a matter of minutes.
In reality the blow is…unexplainable. The bewilderment you feel when someone you spoke with a few minutes ago is suddenly gone forever it’s overwhelming. I had been lucky enough in my life to never have to experience death first hand and out of respect for his family who might read this I won’t paint an image for you here.
What I will say is that life is so incredibly fragile, life is incredibly short. The body is just a breakable vessel that holds something incredibly precious within, and sometimes what holds it breaks, sometimes it just fails to work properly and the essence of the person is gone and the body is left for the living to mourn after.
I know the pain now won’t let those directly affected see that the person is gone to enjoy whatever heaven they believed in while us here feel the pain of being left behind. I hope those who miss him will see that even though he isn’t with us anymore doesn’t mean he isn’t somewhere else watching over those he loved and getting ready for what comes next.
Like Dumbledore would say “To the well organized mind, death is but the next adventure” I truly hope that for Alfonso (husband, father, brother, son, friend, teacher, cousin) the next adventure is a marvelous one. May your soul rest in peace.