A post I shared with friends and family yesterday..
5 years ago this AM, I woke, next to my husband, on a pull out couch in a family room connected to the NICU. I had to face the reality that this would be the last morning I would be going to my son’s bedside. It was the last morning I would hear my husband whisper “Good morning, I love you” to our son. No one knows the reality of pain and grief until you have to see the look of fear and helplessness on the face of your husband and know in your heart that you can never change it. Never take it away, Never make it better. It was May 16, three days after my first Mother’s Day. It was a Wednesday. It had been 20 days since we left our home in sweat pants and t-shirts heading to the hospital as I was bleeding. That day, we rocked, read stories, and just cuddled. At 4:19 pm, I sat in a rocking chair holding our son as a DR kneeled in front of my chair with a stethoscope pronouncing our son. May 16, 2012 1619 hrs. Despite it all, we are blessed as many families never get to hold their children, to feed them, to read stories. We have so very little but to us those 19 days are a whole life, The life of our only child. Even though you see us at the store, just us, pushing a cart of groceries. We are not a family of two. We are a family of three. We are parents, we have a son and his name is “C”. He had eyes of blue, curls like his father with hints of red, his mothers nose, his fathers feet. He was 39 cms long and weighed 1442 grams. He was a 28 weeker. I was in active labour for 15 hours before being taking for an emergency C as he was breech. Today, I had to watch my husband leave for work, crying and in pain. All I can do is be here when he returns and we will go and visit our son. To those that read this I do hope one thing rings true. If you are able to tuck in your child tonight, feed them supper and even if there is a tantrum, above all else remember you are the lucky one…..do not take advantage of your gift. To “C” with much love Mummy and Daddy..
Today, I sit at my desk. I am not really working. I do not get much work done this time of year. My mind is elsewhere. Sleep is also not something I do much of. I read. I immerse myself into the written word. Another person’s tale, their reflection, their picture. My reality forgotten when the page is turned.
Tuesday, will be the 5th anniversary of the death of our son. This weekend I will be celebrating my 6th Mother’s Day. We are still a family of three. Our arms are still very much empty.
One never knows what life will bring. To be 20 and looking ahead at 30 and 40 and 50. One never knows the love, stress, pain that one will endure. I do not wish you to think there is not happiness in our lives. There is, however, there is very much pain as well. That pain is ever-present and never-ending.
I am awaiting my tulips to bloom, spent my first Sunday at the lake for the summer. I am doing a walk with my friend in a couple of weeks as she has just been diagnosed with MS. I belong to Quilt Guild and just finished up our Quilt show with 320 items on display. My sister and my nephew were just home to visit.
Although, life is busy and never-ending that does not mean that my life is a constant joy. We do what we can, however, we do cry in the car on the way to work, or sit in tears in the living room early on Sunday morning. The house is still, nothing is moving.
This path was chosen for us. I have decided to accept some detours and create some on the way. It is all that I am able to do. I do not have the power to change it or make it different.
Life continues to be a struggle. My family still do not understand our feeling and wishes at times. My mother and sister cannot understand why my husband and I cannot hold our nephew. It is not possible. I am his mother. My arms are a very special and sacred place. They are where the love of our live took his last breath. I have tried to speak of it in a sense for them to understand. That does not mean we do not want to be around. To be involved to be part of it all.
I am being and doing what I can, what I am able.
This weekend I celebrate the life of our son. I will spend time with my husband, just the two of us. I will check my flower beds and wish for spring tulips.
Grief, is a lifetime journey. As with everything in life, our experiences mold our life, change our life. No, I am not debilitated. I am able to function, I get up, I dress, I leave my home. I live a productive life generally. Work, house, yards, gardens, quilting, reading, travel. But each thing I do and each place I visit I do so as a grieving Mother. I see things through a different filter.
Wishing you all a very Happy Mother’s Day and sending much love to those that will be standing grave side with me as we visit the resting place of those must precious to us.
Send warm wishes to all near and far.
Christmas. I have most presents bought and wrapped. They are not delivered. I did send some cards in the mail this week.
No, my tree is not up. No, I cannot even fathom when I might feel like it. Perhaps this weekend.. Who knows.
I have been absent for a time. My birthday has come and gone. This past year has been trying for me. I am on a road of self discovery. Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be?
I am no closer to the answers. I know that I am a wife. I am C’s mother. However, where do I go from here? What do I fill our lives with from here on?
It has been 41/2 years since C passed away. No, this holiday is no better. No different. The gut wrenching pain. The loneliness. The want.
No cute curly haired 4 year old to buy Santa gifts for. No one to bake cookies with. No one to read Christmas stories to.
Yes, we do have and find joy in our lives when and where we can. Santa is bring us snowshoes. I cannot wait to take my husband out for the day. Build a fire, roast hotdogs and marshmallows. I have bought a few special things for him from Santa. I always try and make Christmas the best I can for him. That is the least that I can do for the love of my life.
On New Year’s we stay we stay in and I bake all day. All of his favorite snacks. We then watch movies.
Sending out much love and wishes to all you and yours for a warm, joyous and wonderful Holiday this year and best wishes for all in the coming year.
I have not titled this today as I have no idea what to call it. The following could apply:
Each of these words apply. Today I sit in grief. I grieve for my friend, for her child, for their family. On Saturday, the most joyous, kind, gifted, strong, loving young lady any mother could call their own passed from this earth.
She truly was a light in this world. She had been fighting for that life from the day she was born.
Today, I send much love to my friend. May she be surrounded by the love and the arms of each of us Mothers of Angels around the world. May she feel that love as she lays her own precious Angel to rest.
Time does not change the reality of our lives. I have touched before on coping. 4 years and 7 weeks later. I am still living.
This weekend we attended a family wedding. My husband was part of the wedding party. Which meant I was left to put in my time between events and to find my own seat during the reception. The weather held and it was a nice day had by all.
That being said, regardless of it being family and close personal friends, I still felt alone. Strange I know, however from 8 am until 8 pm I was left to my own device. Hair, makeup, waiting for the ceremony, watching my husband from afar. Cousins taking care of their family and children etc. I just had my camera and my lip gloss.
I was surrounded by 100 people, yet I was so very alone. Nothing in life prepares you for these events and passing of time. I believe this will get worse with time. What will 50 be like when all we know are going to graduation or watching grandchildren. I have spent the last 8 months trying to organize these thoughts in my head and to try to understand where we are heading in life as a family.
I continue to ask myself this question “why do they tell you that grief gets easier”? Seriously, have these people even stopped to think about the consequences to this grief and it’s relationship with the rest of that person/families life?
Well it seems that my turkey dinner will be had 850 miles from home.
My parents are making the trip to see my sister and baby that weekend.
The apprehension has already started. Days away from home. Might be alone as it depends on if Hubby can get time off work. Oh yes, and the baby in the room, my nephew.
Will my sister understand that I do not touch or hold babies? I am still not able to. Will they feel slighted? Oh, land. Will they understand that me coming and being there is all that I can do? All that I can handle. If she goes to term he will almost the same ## of days old as “C” was.
My husband’s cousin brought home her baby on Thursday. He was a 28w 5d prem. His due date was June 27th. So today he is 37 weeks.
All weekend we have been asked have you seen the baby? When are you going? We are not. There has been a steady stream of people into that home since Thursday evening. In addition to the visits they planned to take him to an event in our town on Saturday, with several hundred people… Yes, my husband and I both have our flu and Tdap. So all necessary precautions have been taken.
However, he is a prem. He is to have limited access to visitors for the time being. Now because we are choosing to do as instructed by Neonatologist, and the NICU we are the jerks.
Yesterday, as we drove to the lake my husband stated “What did they think we were doing in the hospital for 3 weeks? Having a vacation?” How do you respond to that statement. Every part of it is truth and valid.
I informed some of the family that we would not be over so the message would filter through. When questioned why I stated “He is to have limited visits and we are choosing to comply with those wishes for his health and well-being. We will not be over anytime soon.”
We are doing our best to convey congrats and to protect our selves emotionally. Within all of this our own family cannot understand why it would be so difficult to go and visit a child that was born 5 days older than our own son and he was able to come home. We want what is best for their family and for their son. We have sent love, congrats and well wishes and continue to pray that all will be well.
But we must do so at a distance.