Aaron died of a heart attack.
After three days of not knowing what killed Aaron, we finally found out that it was a heart attack. It’s not the medical term, but it’s the type of heart attack that doctors commonly refer to as “The Widow Maker.” Alex filled in the details: it’s when the left artery becomes fully blocked, resulting in a catastrophic heart attack.
The knowledge of knowing what had happened to Aaron helped us get out of that purgatory. There was a sense of relief in knowing what it was, but now we moved on to the harder part of figuring out what to do next. I think of all of those families who deal with missing children or those missing during war. The knowledge of knowing what happened does add a weird sense of closure but opens the door to the next phase of grief. Whatever that may be.
I replay Bob’s phone call in my brain often. I replay the call I had to make to my parents often. I sometimes think about what that scene must have looked like with Aaron on the ground. It’s almost like I’m just hovering over him, while he lays there on the bathroom floor. I’ve asked Bob not to ever, ever, ever tell me what Aaron was wearing when he died. For years, my brother and I were obsessed with what people are wearing during climatic/suspenseful scenes in movies: Elisabeth Shue’s scarf in “Adventures in Babysitting”; Martha Plimpton’s scarf/hoodie in “The Goonies”; Kate Capshaw’s robe in “Temple of Doom”; Kim Basinger’s pink dress in “Nadine.” At the end of any mystery novel or horror book we both read, we would dissect the storyline, but there was always talk about what the hero or heroine was wearing. And it usually involved something like “Gwen got tore up in the end of that book! And yet somehow she had that purse strapped across her torso the entire time.” I think it was a weird twin thing that neither of us could understand.
Not that Aaron was involved in some edge-of-your-seat situation where he was running to stay alive, but knowing about the clothes he wore that morning when he died would scar me tremendously, and I never want to know the answer.