Today is the first day in three and a half months I did not receive anything in the mail related to Craig or his death.
Does this mean things will finally begin to ease up?
Or is this the calm AFTER the storm?
Because yesterday I received the coroner's report.
And what a storm that was.
I pulled it out of the mailbox, saw the Medical Examiner's Office in the return address, and, even though I knew months ago this was coming, thought, 'Now what bloody paperwork are they sending me?'
My heart literally stopped when I saw what it was. I sat in my car, shaking, trying to breathe, and sobbed.
Yes, I knew what it would contain. Yes, I knew it would be graphic. Yes, I knew it would be bad. But the DETAIL. The level of detail. That I was not prepared for. Lacerations, bruising, puncture wounds... on and on and on. Which bones were broken and where, which wounds were bleeding, even the exact size of the blue of his eyes. All accompanied with happy little diagrams in case the lingo was a little too over my head.
True, the imagination can always conjure up things far worse than fact. But in this case, I guess not. I feel ill. I couldn't sleep. Maybe I won't again. After seeing his body, I can now match up all the injuries to what I saw. This realization was like a sucker punch to the gut.
Please don't ask me why I read it.
The best I can explain is that I was not there.
I. Was. Not. There.
I need to see it. I need to know the details. I need the graphic images. Because otherwise, it stops being real. And not believing this is real is one dangerous road to go down.
I would give anything in the world to have been there.
To hold his hand.
However bad it would have been for me, I would have survived. I could live with those images and those memories. But this I cannot. Because I still have those images only coupled with the horrifying knowledge that he had to go through this alone. That he was broken and suffering and scared and I was not there. And for that, I can never forgive myself.