Dead is Dead, Call it What it is

I hate the word dead. But there is no other word that better describes my husband's present and forevermore state.

My husband died on a ski hill one afternoon. That morning he was alive and well and on a ski trip with my kids and myself. That afternoon he was dead- snow asphyxiation.

I was on the hill with him as he headed down a powder run; "Make sure you wait for me," he shouted to myself and the kids. He was referring to the meeting point we had selected to meet up at as we did different runs. He never showed up at the meeting point.

The ski patrol eventually found him upside down in a tree well. They were unable to revive him. His body was brought down to the base of the mountain on a ski toboggan. I was asked to take the chairlift down to the bottom where I would find my husband. No one on the hill had yet used the word dead in front of me. As I was downloading I whispered the word dead to my friend on the chair.

"What are we going down for? Do you think Tom is dead?" I whispered. If you say it quietly perhaps it won't be true. My friend just nodded, he didn't say that word either.

I entered the lodge where my husband had been brought. A young ski patroller had been put in charge of "guarding" my husband's body. "I'm sorry," he said solemnly. "Your husband is in there." And he points to a broom closet.

"What are you sorry for? Is he dead?" I may have asked out loud; if not then I definitely asked in my mind. Why isn't anybody telling me that my husband was dead?

I entered the broom closet and there was my {DEAD} husband in all of his ski gear lying on a stretcher. "Yes," I answered my own question, "My husband is dead."

From that moment on, I used the word dead in the most blunt of situations.

To my children, "Daddy is not coming home, Daddy is dead."

To friends and family on the phone, "There's been a ski accident, Tom is dead."

To the credit card company, "My husband is dead, I need a card in my own name."

To our lawyer, "I don't know if you've heard but Tom is dead. What do I need to do?"

To the financial advisor, the water company, the electric company, the phone company, the motor vehicle department, the tax department and on and on and on; dead, dead, dead, dead, dead. There is no other word to describe him.

Don't be scared of the word {DEAD}, it is in fact a very succinct, descriptive word. I know that my husband is dead; choosing a softer word is not going to ease the pain. Dead is dead, call it what it is

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