Tuesday, September 4, 2007

When reality isn't

In a wierd way, i've spent the past almost 18 months in a sort of denial. To ask me I would have vehemently swore that I was not in denial, I was coping the best way I could. But I was/am.

I don't think i've ever taken the time to totally process. When Alex was born and got sick, those weeks were such a constant roller coaster. There was never any downtime to think. I never had the chance to really say "Ok, my child was born gravely ill, this is our reality"

After he died, we threw ourselves into things, we got pregnant with Nathan, again, never taking the time to process. To really accept that our child died.

Now that things are leveling out. I find myself realizing that my child was born, he was critically ill, and he died. HE DIED! I read stories of other kids who have died and I feel such a deep sympathy for thier families, it's like I don't realize sometimes that I am one of them.

I remember the Monday before Alex died, the day when the inate "knowing" took over and without being told, I knew he was going to die. I remember making the kids lunch and crying that whole day. Hailey asked what was wrong and I just blurted out "I think Alex is going to die"..... I felt SO bad about saying that, watching the tears well up in her eyes. Yes he had taken a turn for the worse but there had never been a time when anyone said to me "you know, Alex probably isn't going to pull through". I started to question myself. Why would I say that to her?! A child!

That afternoon at the hospital I talked to the child-family life specialist and I didn't tell him that I had told Hailey that, but he said something to me that made a ton of sense. He told me that the worst thing I could do is hide from my kids. They KNOW when something is going on without being told and if you don't say anything, they get scared and upset. If you say it, then at least they know what's going on. You see, kids have a great way of making other people's problems about them. Not that they are selfish, they just always think that if an adult is upset it's somehow thier fault. So by saying what I said, Hailey knew that I was upset about Alex, and it wasn't her fault.

This grieving process. It's hard to get a handle on. There is no right or wrong way to do it and that makes it extremely difficult to know if the things I do, my coping mechanisms, are they normal or abnormal? Am I grieving in a "healthy" way, or not?

I suppose I'm greiving in my way. And that makes it the right way. I just wish someone would come along and tell me how I can put this behind me....how I can understand.

He's been on my mind a lot more than usual lately. It struck me odd the other day when I saw a kid who had a feeding tube and the mom was tending to his needs. I got sad and thought how I wish I had the opportunity. Who WISHES for a sick child? It's so strange, like I was robbed of being mom to an Alex who would have been normal and healthy, but then I was robbed of an Alex who was sick and needed such indepth care. I had prepared myself for spending the rest of my life tending to his needs with medications, doctor visits, surgeries, procedures. And I'm grieving THAT too. I guess anything you prepare for and dont' get is a loss.....

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