Widow Stories: What The Coroner Did Not Know

Nightmares piled up that November day.

Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

A brief argument about daily intake of fluids with a dialysis patient. An impossible transportation task looming with no sane resolution in sight.

A lifeless body on our front porch. A panicked call to 9-1-1 for the fourth time. The 10-mile race to the emergency room. The final word to mark his final ending.

And then: “The coroner wants to talk with you.”

Everything around me begins to shift and slant. My feet wobble, and so does my mind. I reach out, but there is nothing to grab onto. I know this isn’t the time to lose control. On the outside, I am walking toward the coroner. On the inside, I am slipping into the land of denial. Fear infiltrates whatever sanity I have left.

Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

How can they? How can he? Why is this happening? Do they realize the torture I’ve just been through? Do they know about the torture that is coming for me?

Design by Laura Wasson Warfel

Design by Laura Wasson Warfel

“It’s just routine,” they say.

“Because he died at home,” they say.

Nothing about this is routine.

Photo by Barb Dorris; Design by Laura Wasson Warfel

Photo by Barb Dorris; Design by Laura Wasson Warfel

As I walk toward the coroner, my friends gather around me and walk with me. They can’t intervene. They can’t defend. They can’t speak for me. But God uses them to protect my heart and mind.

After just a few minutes of his rote questions and my revealing answers, the coroner knows the truth. What all of us had known for years but never allowed ourselves to voice. I didn’t kill my husband in our home.

Diabetes was the killer that day. But not just that day. So many days prior. Wearing him down. Erasing little bits of him hour by hour. Stealing his health. Sapping his energy. Damaging his internal organs. Leaving him vulnerable to illnesses. Finally taking his precious life. And ending our marriage.

Our wedding day; Photo by Steve Hughey

Our wedding day; Photo by Steve Hughey

If you or anyone in your family suspects that you are diabetic, get medical help right away. This is not a disease you can avoid or deny.

If you have a history of diabetes in your family, talk with your physician right away. This is not a disease you can avoid or deny.

If you are pre-diabetic, do whatever you have to do right now to turn that situation around. This is not a disease you can avoid or deny.

Diabetes is a thief of the worst kind. If allowed to do so, this disease will steal your abilities, your happiness, your body, your quality of life, your future.

I don’t know who needs to hear this today. But I do know God has prompted me and urged me to write this. If these words are meant for you, please take action. If these words are meant for someone you love, please share with them.

Refuse to accept the malicious and rampant attacks of diabetes. Your rewards will be numerous. Seeing your children graduate from college. Attending the weddings of those you love. Welcoming new lives into your life. Learning and growing in your relationship with the Lord. Sharing vacations with family and friends. Waking up with expectant joy each morning. Sleeping peacefully each night. Dancing anytime you want to dance.

Street art in Elkhart, Indiana; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Street art in Elkhart, Indiana; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

My husband Gene lost his life to diabetes when he was only 51 years old. That’s a tragedy. The greater tragedy was the stealthy, insidious, relentless way diabetes took his life.

Refuse to let diabetes take your life. Now or ever.

Ashtabula County, Ohio; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Ashtabula County, Ohio; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

To educate yourself about diabetes, go to

Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to win this battle!

Chicago Botanic Garden; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Chicago Botanic Garden; Photo by Laura Wasson Warfel

Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.

Copyright © 2019 by Laura Warfel