Day 3- The Funeral Home and the call from the Coroner

Another day. I wake up to a glimmer of hope it’s a nightmare. It was just a glimmer of hope today less than yesterday, then it’s gone.

Another 1,000 tears

I had no idea there were so many ways to cry.

Racking sobs of absolute devastation
Weeping from deep sadness
Tears of anger
Tears of frustration
Screams of anguish
Tears of opportunities lost
Tears of remorse
Fits of rage
Spasms of agony
… more weeping of resignation to my fate

My God… How many more tears?

We walk around the house occasionally having to go to her room. We laundry, find her clothes still in there from the trip last week.  How could she be gone before her laundry has even been done? We placer her clothes in her drawers the way she liked them. More tears. In the back of my mind I hope she is just visiting a friend and will be home soon.  After all, Shayna was always gone at a sleepover or she was sleeping in.  Often she was in her room on her iPhone watching Netflix, except this time she is not in her room.  Not on her iPhone.  Not at a sleepover. She has left us. The house is full of people, cousins, grandparents, uncles, aunts. Everyone but my precious baby. She would love the laughter as we tell Shayna stories. She would love the sweets. My God I love her.

Now, the anger starts. Every noise is irritating. How can you talk about anything other than Shayna. You should be as fixated on her as I am. Don’t you miss her?

The coroner calls.  There is nothing conclusive. There was fluid in her lungs (Kayla later tells me that means that it was unlikely that CPR could have saved her- Kayla is a lifeguard).  The fluid usually indicated possible cardiac event or drug overdose. Toxicology will take 6-8 weeks. Sweet, happy Shayna- we know she wasn’t taking drugs. She told Ty just a few weeks ago she was happy with where she had gotten her life.  She was looking forward to starting volleyball camp this year healthy for the first time in years. 

Cardiac event?  We took Shayna to the cardiologist several times since she started having rapid heartbeats a couple of years ago. We did everything they suggested AND MORE. She had two heart procedures. They told us that while they hadn’t completely eliminated the arrythmia, it was not life threatening and she was cleared for all activity. She would simply have to visit the doctor every two years for a checkup. A checkup that was scheduled in a few weeks.

The guilt starts. Did the pneumonia she had a few weeks ago kill her?  No.  She had taken antibiotics- two rounds. It was completely gone weeks ago. She had played a tournament in Florida the week before.  No complaints.  No coughing. No shortness of breath. 

Was it her heart? We got a clean bill on that.  Should I have have pressed him harder?  She did have occasional arrhythmia, but people with WPW often have many episodes a day and life normal life spans. Shayna had short episodes 3-10 seconds every few weeks.

Today we visit the funeral home. I drag myself out of the car, each step weighted down like I’m wearing lead boots.  

The funeral director is a lovely young lady. She is polite, understanding and compassionate. She walks us through the process, the process none of us ever wants to go through, especially with a child.  She greets us and seats us around a table.  Another moment of the reality of the situation.  I’m sitting in a funeral home discussing arrangements for my baby.  My God. NO!

After several questions we get around to “How would you like to handle her body? Have you thought about burial or cremation.” Are you kidding me? She was 15.

“No we haven’t thought about burial or cremation. She was 15.”

“Well, you have plenty of time to think about it. We can embalm her and you can your time.”

Oh great.  I don’t have to think about putting her in a box in the ground or burning her yet. Thanks for that small favor. But, I haven’t even accepted the fact she is really dead and you want me to give you permission to embalm her. This is agonizing. We make a few decisions. She will be embalmed. We will think about cremation. All hope of resurrection is gone. All hope of this all being a mistake. We are making final arrangements for our precious baby.

Now I am truly in Hell.

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