12.10.2010

Autopsy Results

On the one month anniversary of Jeremy's death, I finally received a phone call from the funeral home saying that the ME report was in and the death certificates were ready.

But I wasn't ready for the results.

Jeremy died a natural death due to Hypertensive Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Basically, Jer died of a heart attack from a coronary heart disease that he's likely had for years.

This was worst case scenario.

In fact, it wasn't a scenario I even considered. I knew natural death was a possibility, but I was thinking along of the lines of a brain aneurism or something (he had a terrible migraine the night before he died). I'm glad to finally have an answer, but this one is really unnerving to me. After I got off the phone, I sat and sobbed. A heart attack?!? At age 31?!? Jer was a big guy, but he was not obese, he was very active and strong. I had built it up in my head that this was likely an accident, that Jer had just slipped and fell from his tree stand. That was easier because I know accidents happen. A heart attack is not supposed to happen this young.

I'm glad to know that he wasn't being careless on his stand. And from all the reading I've done since yesterday and the people I've talked to that have a lot more knowledge about this than I, I know it was probably something neither one of us would have known anything about. It was likely more a hereditary problem than anything else. He likely didn't fall too far off his stand either, as there was not much exterior damage (broken bones, blood, etc.) And I do know it was quick enough that even Jeremy probably didn't even know what happened. 

I guess I am thankful for what this meant for Jeremy: symptom free (no pain), and a very quick death, out doing what he loved. Isn't that how we all want to go? 

I'm still infuriated that God didn't prevent this. Or keep his heart going for a little longer. I'm frustrated that when Jeremy was in and out of the hospital over the last year and a half for stomach issues, nothing was detected. There's supposed to be a reason for this, right?

It better be a good one.

36 comments:

Ashley said...

That is crazy that they never checked his heart, because sometimes heart attacks will mimic stomach problems, but probably because of his age they didn't check. (I work in cardiology) I am very sorry for your loss, but you are right, it would have been pain free and quick and he did die doing something he loved. At least you can peace in the way he passed now and not continuously wonder. Praying for you and your family

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Know that people are praying for you, even people who don't know you. He was so young. It just seems so wrong. Maybe the reason is to protect his kids from this dreaded condition. Maybe the doctors can prevent something from happening to them now that this is known. Again, my deepest sympathy to your family. Amy

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I'm sure it doesn't make it any easier but at least you have an answer to one question. I think of you every day Vee.

Heidi said...

I know that it must be a somewhat of a relief to have some answers, but also very painful. God has our lives planned out from the the day we are conceived. How difficult this must be to not know why your husband was chosen at such a young age. In time i think you will find the reason. As i have been for the last month i will keep praying for you and your family. You are a strong person, and just remember that Jeremy is looking down on you and God is holding you in the palm of his hand. May you find a little peace on the coming weeks.

Stacey said...

Wow, I am glad you have your death certificates and official cause of death. It took Ohio 2+ months to get my husband's ready. Almost 3 years ago, I awoke one morning to find Matt dead in bed next to me. It was the exact same cause of death-hypersensitive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It was obvious from his position in the bed that the heart attack hit and took him instantly and he didn't suffer. I never knew it happened because I went to bed a couple of hours before him that night. Why did it happen? He didn't mention any symptom beforehand. He was a 38 yr old Lutheran pastor with a wife and four kids under the age of 9 and a long life ahead of him. God better have a very good reason for taking these young husbands and fathers. Just know that you remain in my thoughts as you walk these early days of your widowed parenthood. I know how hard it is-it is truly hard core. All my love-Stacey

Just me said...

I'm so sorry. But at least, like you said, he won't have felt it. Thinking of you x x x

Megan said...

I found your blog via a friend-of-a-friend's, and I know that nothing anyone says can make this heartbreaking situation any easier for you. But, I hope that the results can (eventually) bring you some sort of peace and closure. I pray for you and your family, and hope that you will have happy days ahead.

Daisygirl said...

I am so glad you got the results back but I can't imagine how you must feel. A heart attack at 31 just doesn't make sense.
I hope your able to find your reason...thinking about you.

Shannon said...

Vee: I got this note in my inbox this morning and after reading your post, I wanted to share with you: "Ask your question, Vee. Feel the answer. Ask, feel. Ask, feel. Ask, feel." You've asked the question, and the reason will come to you. Hang in there. Much love, S

Rebekah said...

I know that same feeling of fury. When life just doesn't make sense and God doesn't answer...

Keep holding on.

I am so thankful to hear that Jeremy didn't suffer.

~Lauren~ said...

Thank you for sharing that, Vee. I think we were all curious as to why this happened as well. But I must admit that this also was the last cause on my mind. 31 seems so young for that. At 28 I feel invisible to heart conditions...and I just realized that I shouldn't, especially with a family history of heart disease. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for helping to teach us that tomorrow is a gift and not a given. Wishing you and your babies peace, love, comfort, and happiness this holiday season and always.
<3

Jess said...

It's hard to make sense of things like this. Nothing anyone says or does will take away the pain you are feeling. It's infuriating to say the least that at such a young age you are dealing with this. I feel for you. I understand. Wish I could do something. :-( You and your family are in my prayers though.

Nancy P said...

Wrote you before, lost my husband in a tree stand accident also.
I was talking to my counselor about your blog and how you seem to write what I feel. She suggested I write my thoughts down too. I don't quite know how you express the rage and sadness so eloquently. Mine was ugly and full of rage. I hit the delete. My husbands autopsy gave me no answers - only questions.
My heart is as broken for you as it is for me. One second at a time. Breath in, Breath out.

cait said...

I just found your blog this evening...and am really lost for words. My heart and stomach hurt for you. I will be lifting you and your little ones up in prayers. I don't know the depths of your pain, but I do know that we serve a God that can do the impossible...including healing a shattered heart. Remain strong in your Savior's love.

Michelle said...

Veronica, you have been on my mind and in my prayers this last month, as have Jeremy's grandparents and sisters. You won't remember me but I remember your beautiful family from your visits up here the last several years since we moved here to the Soo. 2 years ago on Thanksgiving my cousin's husband passed away suddenly at 28 of an undetected heart condition.. I remember thinking the same thing of him that I thought of Jeremy, that man truly loved his wife and kids out loud for all to see.
I'll keep praying for you and your family to feel God's comfort and love wrapping around you.
Michelle

V said...

V, I agree with you, there better be a good reason. You are a voice for so many who have lost their loved ones. Those who are the strongest that is possible during a time of tragidy are those to admire.

Christine said...

This is so unfair. I am so sorry. His being out hunting did save you from having to watch him die. That is a blessing and a curse at the same time. The autopsy results will possibly help your children to avoid the same fate. But, still, the whole thing is so unfair.....

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry, but glad that you have some form of "closure" with the actual cause now. So many things happen that make no sense to me, but I think our faith means the most when it's challenged so severely. Praying for you and your family.

Chris said...

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the U.S.

I eat meat like a lion and have done a mild form of the Atkins diet for years. I better start paying attention.

I'm hoping everyday gets just a little better :)

Amanda said...

Vee, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Just know that I love you so much and I wish I could help you out a lot more. Love you!

Karen Peterson said...

I guess one good thing is that if this is something hereditary, your kids will know what to watch out for.

But you're right. 31 is too young for heart attacks.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me and I don't know you, I found your blog through a friend. I just wanted you to know that I think of your family and pray for you so often. We had a very dear friend die from the same thing just 3 months ago..he was also 31-he left behind a beautiful wife and 3 amazing sons. While all these situations make no sense to any of us, we have to continue to trust in the truth that God loves us and is working on our behalf to trade our ashes for beauty.
You are so loved!
Take Care!
Joye

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

...sometimes we just do not understand....hugs...and prayers...

bella said...

Vee, Im so sorry tht youre still dealing with the things about his death, i pray for you and your family nearly everyday. You are suh a strong woman to survive this the way you have. I look up to you, and wish i had your strength. You're right though, at least he was doing what he loved when he passed, and not in some hospital dealing with surgerys and pain.. he is in a better place (that being said i know the best place in the world is next to the ones you love) but have a little peace of mind knowing that one day.. come hell or high water, you will be together again. Love conquers All.

ginalnorma said...

Hi Veronica, you don't know me personally, but I am married to Larry and Kay Normans son, Kevin. My name is Gina...I've been following your blog since I found out. I'm so glad you have the support you so desperately need, and community around you that can be Jesus to you and your kids at this time. It must be confusing and frustrating hearing different things like "There's a reason for this, " or "God has a plan for your life" I mean, yes God does have a plan for our life, and it's that we follow His ways, His plan started in the Garden when things went very wrong: The Fall.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that wanted His creation to be perfect, but we didn't chose that. From the moment sin entered the world there is just sickness and disease and evil all around. God isn't orchestrating our lives and using us as puppets, because He loves us and wants our love for Him to be genuine, but because of that, that's where we get spiritual warfare and all the unfair things in life that happen. Sickness and disease, accidents, terrorists and on and on. Have you ever heard of Greg Boyd? He is my pastor here in St.Paul MN, and he wrote a book called 'IS GOD TO BLAME' and it is SO good and so helpful, a lot of people that have gone through severe losses have read it and it has helped them.
I also do know one thing hon, you don't have to figure this all out right now, you don't have to figure out your future, you can just rest in the loving arms of your Savior, and that is enough....Just get before Him and lay it all out, if you haven't yet, He wants to hear from you. But maybe you feel frozen from pain to get before the Lord and just cry out to Him. Enter in and just open yourself and lay down your heart...He wants your heart and He sees a million things He can do with you because of this. It wasn't His plan, I can promise you that, but I know God will be after your character and looking to refine you. He will bring you to new heights you wouldn't ever imagine you could go. In time as you seek the Lord out in your time of turmoil and pain, eventually He will speak, and He will lead you. He will give you wisdom and insight. He will prune and teach and show and guide you to a new place in your life and spiritual journey. James 1:2-5 and Lamentations 3:17-26
I'm deeply sorry for your loss, it's so so great, and I know we don't know one another but we are in the family of God in Unity, and I have been praying for you without you knowing, so I thought I would finally write. If you'd like to ask me more about that book you can email me at ginapsalm119@gmail.com
May the grace and mercy and peace of our Lord be deeply with you,
Gina Norman

Zookeeper Jess said...

I stumbled on your blog thinking I'd discovered another happy family and wanted to say hi until I read your latest post then went back and read more.

I am in tears. I am so so so so sorry. I wish there was something I could do but nothing can ever make you feel better.

My heart breaks for you.

So sorry.

Andrea Renee said...

Vee, I'm truly sorry for your loss. You're right - he was just way too young. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your little ones. Please let me know if you ever want to chat with someone who gets it. (((BIG HUGS)))

Tiffany said...

I'm glad you have some answers Vee. Even the ones we don't like, at least give us some closure. Our minds can go to the darkest of places without them.

Still praying.

Jen said...

Oh honey~ I just can't stop thinking about you.

I am familiar with the robbed feeling, the one that doesn't shut off, and keeps going like a broken record....that this isn't supposed to be....too young....too healthy....too vibrant.

Even with those invasive thoughts, I do think everything happens for a reason. I know many hate to hear that, but it is honestly the only thing I can actually find comfort in, and you are SO RIGHT.....the reason BETTER BE A GOOD ONE.

I cannot even imagine for one split second how you are feeling right now.

You know what hurts me to the core when I read this post? That you, a young, beautiful, mommy to 3, have to be writing words of your husband like: exterior damage (broken bones, blood, etc)

That saddens me so much because it reminds me (in an instant) of all of the horrific things I was forced to type like: a 3rd piece of her skull was removed, puffed up like a blowfish, she may not make it through the night, putting her skull back on, staples being removed, feeding tube, etc, etc.

We should NOT be typing these words!! But we are....YUCK!!

You and your family are continuously in my thoughts!!

Jen

Glenda said...

Sending you hugs and prayers. It's not fair. He was so young. I so agree with this: "I guess I am thankful for what this meant for Jeremy: symptom free (no pain), and a very quick death, out doing what he loved. Isn't that how we all want to go?" Stay strong!

vickdn said...

That is crazy and so sad, Vee. I'm glad to hear that he didn't suffer. But that is such a young age for a heart attack. I'm glad you have some form of closure, as much as you can have I guess, but I know it doesn't bring him back or make life easier. I think about you all the time, Vee, and I pray that you stay strong through this and remember that there are others out here thinking and praying for you. May God heal your heart.

Losing Brownies said...

Sometimes knowing hurts just as much as not knowing.

Missy said...

I haven't check on your blog in a while and I just spent some time reading your recent posts.
I wish I could say something that was comforting enough or loving enough but I can't. Please just know that I'm praying for you.

Anonymous said...

like others who left comments...i found you thru some common friends that we have...

been following your blog and thinking of you and your family often...

no healing words to share...just wanted you to know i have lifted you up in prayer...trusting that God will continue to take care of you and your babies...and that one day you will reunite with your husband.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vee
I found you through my daughter that have mutual friends tied to you...i am so very sorry and i feel your pain as you write i have to say while reading this a few times i am wanting MORE and more...
i think you should wrote a newspaper column or a book you do an amazing job of telling it and we FEEL it!!! I wish you were my neighbor so i could help u and the kids!!! but i live hundreds of miles away~~~ do u also write on fb or just his blog???
i try to log in to the pennies place.... fro you!! take care and some day love will come again..just different than with Jer!

Sunny said...

I can absolutely relate. My late husband died at the age of 27 due to a heart condition as well. He was thin and appeared perfectly healthy. It's hard to fathom still that he is gone sometimes. He died on 11/6/06. Something about November...seems like we lose a lot of loved ones around that time. Anyway, grief is hard. Hang in there. You have a beautiful blog and are clearly loved. By sharing your story you will help yourself and others heal. I know firsthand, as writing helped me tremendously.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails