On Thursday, October 22, I was in a deep sleep when I became aware of a really annoying buzzing sound. I had no idea what it was and fumbled around in the dark trying to find the buzzing object and stop it. I finally found the source – my watch. As I went to turn it off, I quickly glanced at the face to see what caused the buzzing and immediately jumped up in a panic when I saw it was Ben’s hospital that was calling. I had no idea how long my phone was ringing since it was set on do not disturb mode for the night but managed to pick up the phone before it hung up. It was just after 5am. My mind was still trying to clear the fog of sleep when I heard the Dr. say on the phone, “I’m really sorry Eunice, Ben is not doing well, we’re going to have to put him on the ventilator.”
As I write this, tears are streaming down my face again and I feel the deep sorrow that hit me like a brick. My world shattered with those words. My mind and heart screamed, “No no no no no!” I didn’t have time to process everything and asked quickly and desperately if I could talk to Ben one last time. I saw that Ben had texted me while I slept and was worried that I missed my last chance to talk to him. The doctor told me I only had a few minutes while they prepped everything, then they would have to move quickly. I tried to wake up Tori next to me so she could talk to Ben for what might be the last time. She was too tired and I couldn’t wake her. I quickly video called Ben and tried not to lose it seeing the tears on his face as well. Ben couldn’t talk much because he could barely breathe. I don’t remember exactly what he said but it was along the lines of “I’m so sorry Eunice, I tried, I really tried. I love you.” We were both scared and Ben told me to take care of the girls for him. I quickly showed him the sleeping girls on the bed next to me, sad that I couldn’t wake Tori for one last goodbye. Ben was really hoping to talk to the girls and I could tell he was torn to leave them like this. I told him I loved him then he had to go because they were going to start working on him. I texted Ben trying to be brave for the both of us.
5:14am: “I love you so much Ben, you’re in the best care right now.” Even though Ben didn’t respond, I saw that he read my text.
5:16am: “We will see you when you wake up, don’t be afraid, God’s watching over you.” Ben never read that text.
Ben was gone. Just like that, I was cut off from all contact and communication with the one I loved. I lost it. There is no way to describe the deep pain, the sorrow, and the agony that ripped through my very being. I was drowning as the waves of grief crashed over me. I remember Ben’s mom coming into my room at some point during all this and reaching her breaking point as well. We hugged and cried together and I passed out crying myself to sleep later that morning.