It was cold the morning,
you died,
my head pounded,
my eyes exploded,
you couldn’t know,
you wouldn’t know,
I prayed you didn’t know
what happened to me
because of you.
It was cold,
until you woke up to me.

-L.J. Lenehan-



The Initial Shock…

My daughter and I drove up to the shop. I parked the car and we walked into the shop. The girl that worked in the shop walked over to me quickly her eyes wide with fear and said to me, ‘He is by the milk but I don’t think you want her to see him like this,’ nodding towards my daughter. I sighed and brought my daughter back out to the car to wait for me. I walked to the back of the shop towards the milk. I turned the corner of the aisle and my husband was sprawled on his back. He saw me, arched his back and tried to say something but could not speak. My husband’s face was turning to a dusty purple. I screamed and ran back around the corner. The girl in the shop ran over to me and hugged me. She asked me if I would talk to the 999 Operator. I said yes and took the phone. The 999 Operator was a woman she asked me his name, age, our address, medical history, my name, phone number, what his new symptoms were, I asked her if I could go because I wanted to bring my daughter down to my husband’s mothers house because I did not want her to see him like that.

I don’t remember what I said to my daughter when I got in the car. I remember that I was crying. My mother-n-laws house is about a mile from that shop. I got to her house with my daughter walking in behind me. I said, ‘he’s collapsed’ tears were streaming down my face. My son had stayed the night and was in the sitting room watching tv he looked at me frightened. My daughter went over and sat next to her brother on the chair quietly. My mother-n-law came in to the hallway and said, ‘sure, he’ll be okay he is tired.’ I said, ‘No, no, he’s not okay, this is really bad, you better come to the shop with me.’ She was in her pyjamas, I waited for her to get dressed and I drove us back up to the shop. My mother-n-law tried to calm me down on the way up saying it would be okay, not to drive so fast, she knew he would be fine. Her reaction changed when we got inside the shop and she saw her son, my husband.

Sunday morning,
Two days late,
Because of Leap Year.

Ended differently,
Than last year,
Sunday morning, won’t come,

A jolt of electricity –
To the heart –

Now, Sunday mornings,
Are only a memory,
Of shocking,

Monday morning,

– L.J. Lenehan –

Introduction to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

It was the Sunday morning 17th of July 2011 my daughter had been in a million times that morning (I wish I were exaggerating) to make her pancakes, my son slept the night at his grandmothers, my husband was up writing addresses on invitations to an Open for his local Pitch and Putt club.

I put a toothpick in each eye, dragged myself out of bed, put on a bra, old sweater, jeans, slippers  and walked into the kitchen. I put on the kettle opened the fridge and dun, dun, dun there was no milk! Argh! The frustration, no milk meant no instant coffee, no pancakes and a fight over who was going to the shop for milk.

The argument over who was going for the milk was worse than I had expected. We said mean things to each other that we did not mean. Sulking I went back in to the bedroom and laid down. A few minutes later I heard the front door open and close. He was going for milk. I was not particularly satisfied with my success because we made such a big drama over going for the milk.

I stayed in my bed and my daughter was in the front room watching cartoons. About fifteen minutes later the door bell rang and the owner of the local shop was standing in my front door. I did not understand why he would be at my house so early on a Sunday morning but said hello anyways. The local shop owner said hello and told me I better come up to the shop that my husband had collapsed. I repeated the word collapse back to him and he nodded. He asked me if my husband had taken any kind of drugs. I said no and the local shop owner apologized for asking me that question.

I thought to myself he must have fainted from exhaustion and got my daughter dressed to go to the shop and collect him. Convinced I would only be a few minutes I did not take off my slippers and put on regular shoes.

Besides regretting that fight every day since it has happened I also regret not changing out of my slippers and putting my regular shoes on. I walked around in slippers for the next two days!! I am not the type of person that goes out in public in slippers!

Day Before I Knew What Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Was…

The 16th of July last year was a Saturday because of the Leap Year it is Monday this year and not Sunday. It was a pretty normal day. My husband and I summer cleaned the house. Something both of us hate doing but accomplish so one thinks less of us. We were proud of our efforts and decided to make pop corn and watch movies that night to celebrate.

Before we made the popcorn we agreed I would call my Dad to talk about our upcoming trip home to Arizona and he would drive down to his mother’s house to get some headache medicine.

We made popcorn and talked about the future. My husband was going back to college in September and we talked about when he finished maybe I could give up work and we could have another child.

We watched the movie Bridesmaids and laughed at all the funny parts. We were in a really good mood and decided to watch the movie A-Team after. It was about two am by the time the movies were finished and I gave him a hug and a kiss and went to bed.

My husband stayed up as he often did doing administration tasks for his pitch and putt club and updating his night time Facebook friends on what was going.

Everything seemed like just another night.


One year ago; I thought I was losing you,
Begged God for one more chance,
To say, ‘I love you.’

Shock took over, my body;
Shaking in my core,
I waited.

I watched;
You weren’t there,
I prayed – unsure,
I waited.

Machines pushed your breath,
In and out.
I held your hand.
It will be different this time.
I waited.

The stench of killing time,
Clung to me.
I cried,
It’s not true.
I waited.

Pushed chairs together
Told myself the metal was
Goose down feather.
I waited.

Doctors, nurses, physios walked by,
In and out,
Complained about life.
You fought for yours,
I waited.

Your eyes opened;
Wide with fear,
We hugged,
We cried,
Nurses threw me out;
Told me not to upset you.

Delirium kicked in;
You took time to return,
Doctors said they did not know,
If you would be back again,
I waited.

– L.J. Lenehan –

Seventeenth of July

The stigma of trauma; with me since the seventeenth of July –
Magpies carried our cries as far as the Bonsai of Shanghai.
Death used his chest as an armrest; enjoying the hue of purple.
Distressed; the priest came to bless his cardiac arrest –
Medical emergency attended to with modern zest.
The aroma of coma; slowed my composure –
Community predicaments – exposed in the enclosure.
Bedside vigilance attended in increments –
Prayers from the innocent; delivered fearlessness.
Five days later, his eyes finally opened, exposing the fear –
Hugging with happiness; the future unclear.
No memory for four weeks; the doctor said there was no certainty –
Angry delirium; he never understood what was happening to him –
Calling with plans of escaping; my heart broken with whims.
Tests, medications, surgeries left him in oblivion –
A condition so rare; they could not cure – it became wearisome.
Agreed to testing; in aid of helping the next generation.
Devastation; an obligation of stabilization from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome –
A modern miracle fought on the battle fields for one more chance –
To say, I love you.

– L.J. Lenehan –