My darkest day. I don’t know how to explain or how to start. It is probably one of the most difficult things to explain feelings and thoughts.
I am not a great writer, but I don’t think it will make a difference. The topic is difficult enough.
My husband died….
No worse, my husband was murdered. He died a violent death and I found him….
Was that too brutal?
For my brain, my soul it is too much, too brutal. So I will excuse you if you want to take a moment to overcome the shock….
It was like being swept off my feet by a tsunami and actually surviving the wave. Left standing with only shreds off what your life once was. Grab some tissues and I will tell you the story (https://amzn.to/3ZF74V4 or https://amzn.to/3LmJF75)
The Back Story
It was just another Tuesday morning….
A normal, well in our house normal was definitely not the normal as others see it, Tuesday morning. My husband woke up before me and brought me a cup of coffee. He used this early morning time as his quiet and exercise time. A time to reflect and focus, before the day took over.
We owned a grocery store and a convenience store. Our lives where hectic, to say the least. During COVID we lost more than 80% of our revenue, that put us under huge financial strain.
The businesses were just picking up again, but we decided to open up a second convenience store at a different site. Anyone who is in business will understand that opening a store causes financially strain. The landlord, who was also my husbands boss, was causing more financial strain by withholding his salary for various frivolous reasons. I was working two jobs to try to keep us afloat.
In our marriage we were in a better place than ever before. We were always a team, but my husband was old school. Meaning a wife needed to listen. He felt he was in business longer and thus had more experience so he made a lot of decisions without consulting me. It caused huge fights. All of that aside, we were a team and always had each others backs.
We reached breaking point earlier in the year, our marriage was in trouble, but we pulled through and we made future plans. Moving to a coastal town, leaving behind the stress and the rat race. We both decided that we wanted our lives to be different. We sought out and identified business opportunities that would have made this new lifestyle possible.
The last challenge was selling and finishing up the businesses we had. We started the process of selling 2 months before my husbands’ murder. We had two interested parties for the convenience store. The landlord did not approve of one of them, even though they had the most promise. The second interested party was a friend of his. Even with the landlords dubious behavior we continued negotiations in good faith.
That morning – 30 November 2021
On that horrible morning, we needed to go to the convenience store, my husband was meeting with the agents to discuss the deals on the table and I needed to interview for a new manager for the store.
My husband brought me a second cup of coffee. We would usually take some time to discuss the day and any challenges and decisions that needed to be made.
This morning it was different, instead of discussing business he started a conversation about the books he have been perusing in his quiet time, the decisions he has made and what he saw as the next steps. In his words “From now on it will be about you and me. I will focused on making R10m and looking after you, giving you the life you deserve”
Most of the time he showered first. I would usually go down stairs and feed the dogs. Then come back upstairs to get ready for the day. As I was finishing up he suddenly announced that he was leaving. I told him that I needed to go with and that I am almost ready. He just looked at me and said not today. His last word were “I love you, I will talk to you later.”
A few minutes later, I heard a dull muted sound, which I didn’t really worry about. Maybe the dogs bumped into something or the lady helping in the house dropped something, I took the laundry basket downstairs as I did on days when I worked from home. I went back upstairs, I collected my phone, cigarettes and tablet and started downstairs to the office.
Half way downstairs, Mildred started screaming for me. I rushed down and met up with her just outside the kitchen door and she kept on saying “it is sir, you have to come it is sir”. My first thought was an heart attack, I rushed past Mildred to the garage.
As I reached him in the garage my eyes immediately went to his ripped shirt and the bullet wound on the left lower chest side. My first aid kicked in, I rushed back to the kitchen as I dialed the ambulance, to get towels to stop the bleeding. Looking back, there was no blood I didn’t need towels, but it was something to do.
Life saving efforts
The lady on the other side dispatched the ambulance, but kept on asking questions. Was he breathing, could I find a pulse. I could not find any sign of breathing, no pulse, but in that moment I could not admit that.
While I was still on line with the ambulance I started CPR, I just had to save his life. He was not dead, I was going to make him breath again The call center lady suggested that I call a friend or security to assist me, her assumption was that I was rattled. I was not only rattled, I was in denial….
My husband was a big guy, I could not move him, but I knelt down with his head between my knees and did CPR until the ambulance arrived. I would not give up on him and I could not accept he was gone. I was going to make him breathe again, because I could not imagine, never-mind face a world without him.
Somewhere in the chaos I phoned our best friend. As the ambulance arrived and took over he was suddenly there next to me. The paramedics declared my husband dead, beyond help and my world crumbled. Somebody shoved a cigarette into my bloody shaking hands, the one paramedic patted me on the head and suggested that my friend take me into the house.
His lifeless body on the garage floor is burned into my mind. All the rest of that happened is a blur. I vaguely remember stumbling into the house and somebody wiping my hands.
Just like that it was all over, my life as I knew it was gone. I am a widow. I am alone. My person was gone.
Never-mind all the shit that came after that. I will tell you about that later.
My heart was not torn it was shredded, my soul was broken and my life was in pieces. Everything after that was blurred, everything that happened after that was just more assault on the senses, more punches and slashes to what was left of my life and of me. Looking back that was only the start of the end.