It felt like forever before the ICU doors opened again and C.G’s doctor slowly came out.
The minute I saw his slumped shoulders and crushed expression, I knew.
“I’m so sorry, Stephanie, we...,” he began, but I cut him off with a long piercing scream.
“Nooooo! C.G!” I cried, and pushed past him to run back into the ICU. This time he did not try to stop me.
In stark contrast to the loud, almost chaotic state of the ICU when I had unceremoniously been pulled out of it earlier, the room was now eerily silent.
The nurses who had been shouting out readings from the machines were now quietly turning off and disconnecting them, and C.G who had been jerking about on the bed, now lay perfectly still on it.
He looked like he was simply sleeping, and I began to shake him vigorously.
“Wake up baby; please wake up,” I begged, my mind unwilling to accept that he was gone.
I could not handle the thought that I would never again be able to look into his eyes; that I would never again hear him call me “mummy”; that I would never again feel his tiny arms around my neck when he hugged me; that I would never again feel his breath brush against me while he slept.
And so I cried and begged, and continued to call and shake him, hoping against hope that he would open his eyes and once again say, “mummy”.
Once all the machines were disconnected, the nurses murmured their condolences, made sympathetic clicking sounds, then quietly slipped away, probably uncomfortable in the face of such raw grief.
For a while it was just C.G and I in the unit, until the door opened and Chris and the doctor came in. Chris’s eyes were blood-red, and it was obvious he had been crying as well, though he was silent when he entered the room.
Only when he caught sight of C.G, did he crumble and let out a low guttural cry of pain, while moving to the bedside where he started sobbing across C.G’s still chest.
I don’t think I had ever seen Chris cry before; it was a curious and totally alien sight, probably because from his dominant personality, especially in our relationship, I had always viewed him as strong.
To see him break down like this drove home the reality that C.G was actually gone, and wasn’t ever going to wake up again.
As that reality hit me, something in me snapped, and springing up, I lurched myself at his doctor. “Wake him up! Wake him up! You promised you would make him better; so, wake him up!” I screamed at him while pummeling his chest with my fists.
And then the weirdest thing happened; I could see him answer me as he grabbed and restrained my flailing arms, but I could not hear a word he was saying.
His lips were moving, so I knew he was speaking, but it was like someone had pressed the ‘mute’ button, and there was no sound, apart from a sudden ringing in my ears.
I then felt myself grow extremely weak as the room began to spin, and then everything went dark.