The what-if game

04/12/2013 Entry

Today is 6 weeks. Below is a fun little game I play frequently these days.


What if I stayed home that night, instead of going out to dinner with my Dad? Would Brandon still be here with me, finishing up painting the house we were supposed to move into?

What if I invited him to come out to the dinner with us? Why the hell didn’t I invite him??

What if we went to a less popular place on a Friday night, and got done with dinner much sooner, instead of waiting for 1 hour to get a table, and I got home earlier? I could have been home around 8 or 9 then. Not minutes before he died.

What if I went straight home after dinner, instead of chatting at Dad’s house for 10-20 minutes?

What if I called Brandon on my way home, instead of assuming he was already asleep from his long day? I ALWAYS called him on my way home, but not that night, because I knew he worked that day and also did yard work for hours afterwards, so I just assumed he’d be sleeping, and be grumpy with me for waking him up.

What if Brandon’s brother answered the Skype call he made that night? (from everything we now know, he tried to make call his brother about 10-12 minutes before he died)

What if we actually installed the cameras in the house like we always talked about doing while going through electronic sections at stores? What if I could actually KNOW what the hell happened that night? What if I could see it?

What if the police actually had answers they could give me, instead of telling me to wait 90 days while they complete their “testing and investigation”? That will make it freaking JUNE! JUNE!!! It drives me insane not actually knowing what happened…insane. I keep playing out different scenarios in my mind, over, and over, and over, trying to figure it out, coming up empty every time. Nothing that I know about that night adds up to anything concrete…nothing. So many things just don’t make any damn sense or go together.

What if we went out of town to visit his brother right after I got off work that day? What if I didn’t make such a big deal about rescheduling because Mom and I had plans the next day?

What if I wasn’t the one to find him, to see that, to do useless chest compression and watch blood come out of his neck and mouth while the 911 operator kept telling me help would be there soon, soon, soon. What if I didn’t have those images to haunt me?

What if the coroner’s office didn’t let me sit there and watch as my Brandon was taken out of the house on a stretcher in a black body bag? Would I be less broken then, if I didn’t see that?


I know it does no good to think these thoughts, I know it only brings more heart ache and misery, I know that nothing will change, that it is what it is…I know all of that. I still can’t stop these thoughts from consuming me. For so much to go terribly wrong in such a short time frame…my mind is having a hard time accepting this new reality…I still expect to wake up from this, I’m still surprised that I haven’t (this has been the longest and most terrible dream I’ve ever had!) It still mostly feels like this is happening to someone else, that I’m just an observer, standing far away. There are also times when the pain is so strong, so raw, so inhuman, that I have no idea how to feel it all and stay alive. So I play the game. Just thinking about any number of the above scenarios, about how events could have unfolded differently that night, about how much difference just ONE deviation would make…those thoughts are overwhelming, and they make my heart sick.

Today, my Dad asked me if I wanted to go get some dinner, to try a new place we’ve never been to. It was routine for us to do that Friday or Saturday nights, we got together a few times each month to get dinner and catch up. I’ve been dodging his invitations to dinner for a few weeks now, because any time I think about going to dinner on a Friday night, just like on the Friday Brandon died, I feel panicked, hurt, breathless, and sick. So today I finally told him that I didn’t think that I would ever be able to go get dinner with him on a Friday night again, so he would stop asking. How can I ever go to dinner with him on a Friday night, when such a big part of me blames myself for what happened, because I wasn’t there, and there wasn’t a chance for things to be any different? I can’t. I just can’t. The thought paralyzes me, terrifies me. He doesn’t fully understand it. Fridays are just Fridays to normal people.

So many people in my life simply don’t understand what this feels like, to lose your husband, your love, your best friend, your future, your dreams, your innocence. Poof. Gone. Here one minute, gone the next.

I keep hearing things like:

“You shouldn’t dwell on it so much.”

“Don’t think about it, just put it out of your mind and things will go back to normal.”

“You need to move on.”

“You’re so lucky you guys didn’t have kids.”

It seems like the general consensus is that I just need to slap on a band aid and keep going! NO. This wound can’t be covered with a band aid – hell, it can’t be covered with a box or even a whole pallet of band aids. You know what it can be covered with? Waking up from this nightmare or somehow getting my Brandon back. Are those valid options? Negative.

Happy freaking 6 week deathaversary to me, myself, and I.