Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Excellent Birthday Cry

I was very blessed this morning in that I was scheduled to work with patients today, and there were no patients. So I got to be alone, in a quiet place where I am comfortable, and have a complete breakdown. It was fantastic. I wasn't at home stressing and freaking out my kids, and I wasn't surrounded by people who want to help but can't stop staring at my nose which doubles in size when I bawl. And I really needed a good sob. It has been a long, long time. Like since right after Lily died. Almost 2 years. Which is crazy because I used to cry A LOT. Especially at work.
I have been increasingly agitated the past week or so as Lily's birthday approached. Her birth day was not very happy. Her life was not very happy. It's no secret that I'm still somewhat haunted by it all. Nothing was wrapped up in neat little bow. You never get over losing a child, but I really haven't gotten over Lily. Not her death, not her life. It's in sharp contrast to Charlotte who is my cheeky little girl in heaven. I miss her, I wish I could squeeze her, but I don't mourn. I don't grieve anymore.
Oh I grieve Lily.
The truth is, in my mind, I didn't try hard enough. In my mind, I remember her sad little self and I remember feeling relief when she died. And I know that's normal. I know feeling that way after the death of someone who has suffered is incredibly normal and okay, and there's no reason to feel guilt. But as time has gone on, sometimes I only remember that relief, and I feel horrible.
This morning I posted her picture on my blog, and on facebook, and started to bawl. The facebook comments started rolling in, and I pushed my phone away and tried to study. Or plan next week's meals. Or maybe go walk the halls. But I couldn't. I was sobbing.
I went back and read her life. I've done it before, I know, but this time I had no distractions except my sobs and I read from the moment she was born to a week after she died. And I've been remembering it wrong. I didn't give up on her. We tried everything. We rushed her to the hospital multiple times a weekend. We were on hospice for heaven's sake. And when she died, I let her. I think that's what haunts me. Should I have rushed her to the ER again? Should I have done CPR at the end? No. Heavens, no. But something about that letting go...I'm having trouble letting go of it.
But I just want to remember this moment, after two hours of sobbing and shaking and wondering if I would ever stop, I'm okay now. I'm sitting in the sun in a quiet room I've known since before any of my kids were born, and I'm okay. I have peace right now. Tomorrow I may question everything again, every move I made during Lily's life, and all this will be complicated by the fact I don't remember much about it...I had two infants and a 2 year old after all...I was exhausted emotionally and physically...and I think that makes me wonder if I did all right by Lily. I think I did. But I can't remember.
I spent Lily's whole life waiting for it to start. I thought "After we transfer. After we get home. After the g-tube. After the meds kick in. After her skin heals. After heart surgery. After all of that...we can start." And it never did. And I feel like I missed it. I feel like I missed out. It's okay. I'm just waiting again. After this life, after I raise my family here, after I watch them grow and I grow old with my husband, after I die. We Can Start. We can start again, Lily. But for now, I have to focus on here. On Ava. On Ella. On teaching, raising, feeding, comforting, disciplining, loving them. But when the time is right, we will start again. And I know Lily is busy too.

Thank goodness I blogged. Thank goodness I have this window into those weeks, where I talk about her baths, her ER visits, her seizures, her sats, her skin, her fauxhawks, her funny cry, her little toy mouse. I may not remember it all that clearly, and that's really what haunts me. But I can read her story, like an uninvolved observer, and say "Yes. That mom did alright." And we will start again, someday.


Allison said...

Ag....this kills me. YOU DID EVERYTHING RIGHT. Lily's life was short and crazy and complicated as was yours during it. She was waiting too but not to start... not here anyway. I think waiting to go on and wait for you in a more beautiful, peaceful place. Whether you have clear memory of it or not, you DID soak up little Lily and everything she could offer in this limited world. Man, it must bug her to know you struggle with this because she knows (as does everyone) what an AMAZING super star mom you are. I can't wait for her to be able to tell you that. glad you had a really good cry. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Erin said...

What a beautiful post. You did everything you can for Lily and for Charlotte. You were and are an amazing mom. I cannot believe how much emotional pain you have been through and survived. Lily was blessed to have you as her mommy.

Alex said...

Ditto. You fought like crazy for her. It just wasn't her intention to stay here long. Love you!