Sunday, March 15, 2009


Perhaps I've behaved badly this past week. I have been drowning in desperation for some sort of acknowledgement of Calvin's existence, for someone to say to me, " I remember him." Being so far away from everyone when our twins were born was difficult, thankfully Shane's family came the day they were born and got to see my beautiful boy. That said, within their own grief experience, his parents find it difficult at best to talk about what happened to Calvin. Shane is also having issues bringing him up. As of late, I've felt very much alone in my remembering. And it hurts. So much so that I think I may have made my son's surgeon feel uncomfortable. The good Dr. C. has been kind enough to keep us in his thoughts and responded to an email I sent him requesting information about Calvin's condition by adding this at the end:

I cannot imagine how hard these months have been for you and how the joy of seeing your daughter grow must be shadowed by the pain of not having Calvin there with her. If there is anything I can do to help you though this please tell me and know that you are being thought of and prayed for often.

He's a beautiful man. I can't describe how I feel about him, only to say that it's a mix of gratitude and admiration and love for what he did for my son. As long as I live, I will never forget the look on his face as he had to tell us that Calvin had suffered a serious bi-lateral brain bleed and that he would likely not survive another surgery. I told Shane that I loved the good doctor, not as a woman loves a man, but as the victim of some terrible tragedy loves the hero. Shane knew exactly what I meant and agreed. How do you define a love like that? If you're not there and don't know what it was like, there is no possible way to understand. In my earnestness to let Dr. C. know how much he has meant to my family and how eternally grateful I am to him for remembering my son, I think I may have crossed some boundaries and made him uncomfortable. And for that I am feeling a deep sense of regret. How do I open up the lines of communication again to tell him how profoundly sorry I am if I made him uncomfortable, that in my sorrow and grief that I was so desperate for someone to say my boy's name that I may have held on a little too tight...?

Evening Margaret,

I am so sorry for the terrible pain you have suffered. I cannot imagine how any parent survives after going through what your family has, all I know is that miraculously almost everyone does. Have you had contact with any other parents whose children have died one here at BC Children's - do you think that might help at all?

You loved Calvin in the hardest of places, at the most difficult of times, that I think is more tribute than any foundation can ever give, but I completely understand your desire to see a great good come out of something so sad. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

The acknowledgement of my pain brought me comfort. He was there. He knows how much I loved my son, that I would have given Calvin my own heart if it meant my boy would live. These words brought me immeasurable feelings comfort, that someone had reached out and said, I know you are hurting and I remember him. I wish I could have simply said Thank you and been ok to leave it at that. After so long without speaking his name to anyone, to putting a voice to my sorrow, I was like the desert in a downpour, soaking it up as fast as I could, afraid that it would disappear. In the process I fear I took up too much time, made the good Dr. C. feel uncomfortable with my pain and because of that I'm afraid he won't contact me again when he remembers. The intensity of my feelings surprises even me sometimes, I can't imagine how I must have come off....

Thanks for the emails Dr. C. I will treasure them and my memories of you forever.

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