My exHusband is gone...

We decided to split up last October.  Our divorce was final at the end of March, 2010. He never showed up to court.  I saw him once in February, and then again in July. Each time his latest relationship started crumbling, he'd reach out to me, usually a text or an email.  And each time he did my heart ripped open again. I still loved him. There was something about Marc that was unlike any other man I've ever known. He wasn't great for me - the two affairs, for example. But when it was just the two of us, it was so special.  It hurt me to see him after our split. Even in July (I had just returned from a vacation with my kids and a guy I was seeing seriously for months) seeing him hurt me.
But in September, my former sister-in-law (my inlaws still consider me family, as I do them) called to tell me that they'd found two lesions in Marc's brain. I called him - we spoke for quite some time.  I told him if there's anything I can do, just let me know. He told me that he wanted to start a foundation to raise awareness for Kidney Cancer. And he also told me that I was his best advocate, and he knows I would be perfect to raise funds and handle the foundation. I know he'd never do it; but it felt nice to hear he still appreciated how I fought for him.
And then, on December 2nd, I recieved a call at work. My sis-in-law told me he was back in the hospital, and it was bad. I left work and went straight there.  He looked like a mummy lying there - teeth exposed, mouth open. They told me I could rouse him if I spoke up: I think I said something like "Hi Marc, it's Annie" and he opened his eyes, and told me (in a raspy voice) that he was surprised to see me. When I asked why, he said "things being what they were". So I teased him that I love looking in those big brown eyes.  It was awkward as his girlfriend of 6 months was there.  But I wasn't going to leave his side. I'd promised him from the start that I would take this journey with him whereever it took us, heck, I promised him till death do us part.
I must say i thought it was sweet when his aunt, in her booming voice, said from the hallway, "Did you see him respond when Annie came in the room?"  He looked to me a few times when he was able. When his girlfriend went with the family to speak with hospice, we had our moments alone. I forgave him for everything; I told him not to worry about his kids (I am the only mom they've had for the last 11 years) that they would still be my kids.  I wished I'd told him I still loved him, but I think he could tell.
His kids got there by Friday. His son is in the Army, currently in Hawaii, we got the Red Cross involved and they got him to us by 5:30. His daughter, we got a flight from Florida (which ended up being delayed by 3 hours) and she got there around 4:45. His other brother drove up from South Carolina, arriving around 9:30 at night. On Friday he was unresponsive. Never opened his eyes. Did occasionally make noises like he was in the conversation around him.  It was how he wanted it; his high school friends were telling stories his kids had never heard, making everyone laugh. My poor kids (stepkids but they are still my kids to me) were so upset - stepdaughter hadn't seen her dad in a year. Stepson was even worse - his dad tried to hide how bad he was getting and didn't want him to know.
WE all got set up in the room that night - there was no way I was going anywhere.  And all of us later compared notes: we all counted the seconds between Marc's breaths - anything over "Mississippi Three" jolted us awake. We couldn't sleep much, just here and there.
At 4:30 am, I woke to Sarah MacGloughlin's "I Will Remember You" playing in my head as if someone turned on a radio.  I lay there, and realized I couldn't determine Marc's breathing. I could hear other people, but not him. I got out of bed and looked; saw his chest rise and fall, so I calmed down. The nurse came in to change his morphine bag - instead of making more noise, I went to the public restroom down the hall. When I got back, my stepson was in the bathroom, Marc's girlfriend was sitting up by his bedside. She motioned me closer and told me his breathing was very slow, and that it was any minute now.  We gathered close; girlfriend and stepdaughter held his right hand, stepson held his left, one brother stroked his left knee, I was rubbing his foot, the other brother was close by. About 15 minutes later, I saw his chest rise and fall for the last time.  The nurse came in, listened with a stethoscope, and told us she'd have to get the resident to pronounce him, and that she would give us a few moments.  It was done.
I still can't believe it. Just three years to this month that he had the surgery to remove his cancerous right kidney and a wedge on his right lung where it had already metastacized.  Three years of fighting this awful demon, cancer, and while it may have killed him, it never beat him. He never stopped fighting - his body gave out.  We may have been divorced, but I still loved him like crazy - he was the love of my life.  I was respectful of his girlfriend; I only kissed his head when she wasn't in the room, I only spoke privately to him when she was away. I didn't get the same respect back from her for having been his wife and in his life for the last 11 years, but whatever. 
I can't believe he's gone.