(This is an older post I had started many months ago in the first few months after Lynn's death. I wasn't able to post it at the time, but am facing these same issues again so decided to dig it up...)
It was common for Lynn and I to see or hear the siren of an ambulance and stop what we were doing to pray for the people involved. Protect those in need, comfort family, send Your healing and grace... It is still common to see and hear them, but my response to them has felt quite different.
I remember driving with the girls on the highway and an ambulance passing me on the left. They were not in emergency, just travelling at a steady pace. Still, I thought... Lynn died in an ambulance just like this one. Was it this one? Could it have been them? Other times I heard sirens... I wanted to pray for them, but instead, could only imagine Lynn's body, his chest rising with his last breath, missing me beside him, surrounded by strange paramedics making strange sounds, and pounding on his chest...
Knowing that my husband died inside an ambulance makes them profoundly real to me, and the tragedies that people face on a daily basis... When I opened the mail, and found a bill from the Emergency Health Services, months after Lynn's death, I felt weary, heavy, empty inside. I had to take the bill to the bank and pay the ambulance service that carried my husband to the hospital, holding his last breath inside of its belly, swallowing it up, bringing him to me there, already dead and gone.
It is hard not to think of the what if's? (This is another place I seldom allow my mind to go). The truth is, no conclusions have officially been made concerning a cause of death, and I still await a phone call, that will someday take me off guard, catching me in the middle of supper preparations, or a sisterly squabble, from some appointed person announcing the conclusive results after extra testing on Lynn's heart... I dread that call. I know I will be inevitably faced with the what if's.
As a believer, it is one thing to declare God's soveriengty and rest in an sense of completion, divine timing, and sovereign intervention. But it is something entirely different to know that maybe... just maybe.... if that beloved, stubborn man had stopped half way of the hill... If he had been willing to rest and confess the unusual physical strain he was feeling the last portion of the run... If he had just once in his lifetime chosen to rest instead of push himself forward... Would this have had an entirely different ending? Would an ambulance look less like a hearse and more like a giver of life to me? Was this unavoidable? or was it my stubborn, driven, brilliant, self-discipled, dedicated and energetic husband pushing himself beyond the limits of heart?
Again, no answers, though some may come when this mysterious phone call finally arrives and some mysterious human being on the other end of the line informs me of their conclusions regarding my husband's death...