It wasn't the flu at all. Yes, he had the flu. But it did not kill him.
He had an infection in his bloodstream, and it traveled throughout his body, attacking his major organs. He became toxic to himself.
Without a spleen, he didn't stand a chance.
250,000 people die each year from sepsis. And my husband is one of them.
All the symptoms he showed were signs of sepsis, but they were also signs of the flu. So when the ER doctor found a positive test result for Influenza A, he looked no further. And even if he had, even if he had run more tests and hospitalized him, Robb would have simply died there - in the hospital, perhaps without me beside him.
He was too sick. Too far along. All the antibiotics in the hospital, even a full transfusion, could not have saved him.
It was a perfectly tragic storm. A tragically perfect storm.
Even if he had lived, he would not have recovered. He could have lost a limb, perhaps all of them. He could have lost the use of a major organ, perhaps his brain.
Sepsis is a thief.
It would have changed us forever. I believe God spared us, in his mercy, for I believe there is pain far greater than death. He spared us, especially Robb. And he protects me, then and now.
So how do I feel? What do I do with this?
Well, I feel a sense of closure. A peace in my spirit. This has a name, and nothing could have changed it. We didn't miss anything, any clues.
God is the Giver of Life. He gives and he takes away. He gave; he took away.
There is much I do not understand, but my spirit finds rest beyond words.
Truly, Robb could have (or maybe should have?) died 20 years ago in the OR on the day he lost his spleen after a fun day of sledding went horribly wrong. But God restored his health; he had a greater plan and 20 more years for Robb.
God's hand was under Robb that day, when he was a freshman in high school. He had more for Robb: a wife, two little boys, a ministry in his personal and professional life.
And I believe he was orchestrating my life at the same time, surrounding me with the people who would walk so closely with me through this greatest loss. And when he had the people in place, the cast of characters, the team to carry the mat, I believe God knew it was time. He surrounded and protected me, and then his mighty hand lifted Robb out of this life.
In the before, during, and after, I see that God is neither surprised nor overwhelmed by this.
It wasn't really about the flu at all.