My husband, Dave, passed away unexpectedly at age 40 of cardiac issues. There were exactly zero symptoms and no warning signs, no foreshadowing of any sort.

It was a sunny, brisk, autumn Sunday. He and our son, Jude, played hide-and-seek, then Jude scampered upstairs in his little sock feet for a nap. As I read Dr. Seuss to him in preparation for a restful afternoon sleep, life and death collided.

An alarming loud noise came from downstairs. As I scrambled to assess the situation, our little boy sat upstairs, patiently obeying my call for him to remain in his room.

I administered CPR with intermittent pleas to Jude to stay. I ran frantically to a neighbor’s house. I called 911. It’s a blur to look back on, unimaginable moments that now seem to stretch into days. In reality, it was mere minutes.

The paramedics arrived, leading me out of the kitchen while they attempted to revive my husband. For 45 minutes, they tried everything. I was curious why no one was in a hurry to get to the hospital. No sirens, no lights… In hindsight, I see it clearly. They knew the end had come ― a truth with which I still have difficulty.

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