was March 1, 2010.
The day my beautiful husband was killed in a car accident.
He had been at the farm all weekend and had come home at 11pm Sunday night. He was tired. I was tired. As usual, I had listened for the distinctive note of his car arriving home and I’d heard that and was drifting off to sleep. He gave me a kiss and climbed into bed. Both of us were asleep within minutes.
I started my teaching contract at a nearby high school on the Monday morning so was up early and was kicking him out of bed at 5:45am.
He wandered out and gave me a huge cuddle before telling me about what he’d done at the farm that weekend.
When the kids woke up, they spoke to him about what they’d done on the weekend (had swine flu needles) and Miss K showed him the drawings that she’d made, whilst Mr H was all about the torches and the needing of new batteries.
Next thing we were having our normal morning family cuddle and he was out the door to work with me not far behind getting the kids to their first day in before school care.
I remember feeling really apprehensive driving down the road but kept telling myself that I’d only work full-time for the first contract and then see if I could get part-time work so that the kids weren’t in childcare every morning and afternoon. Now I wish I’d had more time to listen to that internal alarm bell……
I spent the morning getting to know my new students and teaching them a unit on forces and energy … based on car accidents. irony.
The kids were lovely for each class.
At 3pm, I’d offered to do a bus duty for another teacher and I was walking back into the building from duty when I got the first tangible indication that my life had effectively blown apart – the deputy had come to find me, muttering something about my kid’s school and the police needing me to drive the 20 minutes home to my mother’s house very carefully.
Of course I rang my kid’s school straight away and was put straight through to a police woman who urged me to drive straight home as carefully as I could.
I screamed “tell me my kids are OK“.
“Your kids are OK” she said.
“Tell me what’s wrong” I said.
“Drive straight home to your Mum’s house” she said.
So I try to call G and tell him that something bad has happened and to meet me at Mum’s but I get the front desk at his work instead of him and I’d rung his direct number… and they told me he couldn’t come to the phone right now and I was put on hold. I hung up.
By this time I knew something was Very Wrong and I drove those 20 minutes home screaming “Please God let them be OK” the whole way home.
The police don’t pay social calls. I knew this.
I knew someone was either seriously injured or dead.
If not my kids then my mother
or my father
or my husband.
I turned the corner into my parent’s street.
There was a police car parked out the front.
This is real I thought.
I remember thinking ” this is where I find out what has happened – am I ready to know?”
I remember pulling up in Mum’s driveway and two police officers came out to the car followed by my
Mum… in tears.
They told me there had been an accident and they thought G was involved.
Where is he I asked.
The policeman kept talking – unfortunately he appears to have died at the scene.
I screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed. I don’t recall stopping.
I tried to hop back in the car. I think I wanted to drive back to where this wasn’t real. To where I didn’t know what had happened.
Somebody led me up the stairs. I sat down. I kept screaming. I wanted to vomit but couldn’t.
The policeman said that there was another thing he had to tell me…. they were only 99% sure it was G. They weren’t able to tell from the photo on his driver’s license in his wallet.
That thought sunk in.
I screamed again and again.
The police chaplain was called.
Someone must have told me the kids were at a neighbour’s house. I wanted to see them but I didn’t want to see them. Then I would have to tell them. How the hell do you tell a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old that their beloved Daddy has died?
…. to be continued when I stop crying…..