Baby Mira's treatment at Children's Hospital isn't working. Her parents have brought her home and are hoping to find a clinic somewhere in the world that can help their precious daughter. Please, if any of you know of a good clinic that specializes in medulla blastoma or brain cancer, message me so that I can forward the information to Ragne. And please, please pray for baby Mira....she needs a miracle.
I haven't posted in awhile. My Mother's Day and birthday were the focus of my dread last week, willing them both to cheerfully go away if I could. Then they both happened, despite my best intentions for them not to come and the day surprisingly was uneventful and peaceful....for the most part. I say for the most part because it was not my dreaded thirty-nineth birthday or Mother's Day that actually put a heaviness in my heart that day, it was my husband's friend Geoff. Geoff committed suicide on my birthday. On Mother's Day, at the age of thirty. It was a sobering end to a night spent in the warm embrace of family, in good company. Having had a spur of the moment family dinner at my inlaws house, we had gotten home late and I had just retired to the bedroom computer to "check my FB" to view my birthday wishes and there it was....in the form of a status update..."RIP Geoff".
WTF? I was stunned. Immediately saddened and then angry that my husband's friend's death was a status update on FB. I wondered where the etiquette of phone calls had disappeared to, why my husband had to find out that a friend he knew since childhood had died via a FB update. Disturbing and sad. I felt a deep sense of sorrow for Geoff's mother who was spending her Mother's Day facing the news that her son had taken his own life. I was angry at his disregard for the timing of his decision. Committing suicide is a hard enough fate to accept, but learning that it was done on the day that celebrated motherhood was especially disquieting for me. Not wanting to hurt Shane with an angry outburst, I kept my feelings under wraps until the next day when many of us got together at a local pub for beer, hockey and quiet talk about Geoff's loss. Overhearing a comment about how we should "All give his mother some space....", I opened my mouth and disagreed. As a mother who also lost her son, the last thing I wanted at the time of Calvin's loss was silence. I wanted people to tell me that they were sorry. I wanted the comforting arms of loved ones and people who genuinely cared. I couldn't bear the thought that Geoff's mother would be facing his loss in solitude. "Call her," I said..."Let her know how much he meant to you...". It was what I wanted, and I'm sure she needed to hear words like that just as badly as I did at the time. I wanted to jump on my soapbox and educate my husband's friends about loss. I wanted to let them know how painful it is for a mother to lose her child, how no other pain in the universe comes close. I resisted the urge to lecture and instead quietly pleaded with a few to let Geoff's mother know he was loved. It saddens me to think he didn't know how much...
With Mother's Day looming tomorrow, I've been trying to keep myself occupied so that I didn't have to feel that empty longing in my heart for Calvin. I've tried to ignore the little nagging thoughts in my head that were telling me to go to his grave and remember him. Not that I don't remember him, I think about him every single day but the thoughts in my head were telling me I needed to focus, to think about my son, to make time for him and only him in my day today. As awful as this may sound, I don't think I went to the cemetery last year. Calvin's marker hadn't been installed yet and I don't think I could bear the thought of going to my child's grave on a day that celebrated motherhood. I'm pretty sure it ate me up inside...it always does when I think I should be going to see him and then I avoid it because I feel like a spectacle crying at his grave. Today Shane and I went together, just the two of us in the cold evening air to stand by our son's resting place. I felt uncomfortable. I felt it because I wanted to cry but didn't want to bring Shane down, because I didn't want to spoil our evening out by crying just before we went home. But my heart hurts. Not that all consuming hurt from a year ago, but kind of a hollow echo in my soul, an emptiness that I'm always aware of but learning to live with. Calvin has become a fleeting moment in my day instead of the centre of it, the focus of how I'm feeling and I feel guilty I suppose. Guilty that my life carries on without him. Guilty that I don't weep all the time anymore for him, guilty that some days I push thoughts of him away because I don't want to feel the pain. Part of me feels that a "good" mother would visit her son's grave every day, make sure there are fresh flowers and little decorations to tell the world how much he was loved. Part of me feels I should have an area in my house, a shrine, dedicated to his memory, a reminder of the pain and emptiness we live with. Part of me feels guilty for wanting to live again, to feel happy and experience joy. There is great guilt in healing.
I know that I have come to a fork in the road, a path that branches off in a new direction. I could easily continue along this path of darkness that I have walked for the last eighteen months but some spark inside me is fighting to stay alive. I no longer need to be medicated. I have conquered my addiction to painkillers and am finally drug free after months of weaning slowly off the pills. I have fought my way through withdrawl, through insomnia and the feeling of having the creepy crawlies all the time. I have managed to beat back the blanket of numb that has cloaked me since my son died and I am learning to live with the awareness that Calvin is missing from our lives. I am pursuing happiness again, actively making conscious decisions about where I want to go from here. I don't want to live under this dark cloud anymore. I don't want to spend my days inside, drugged out of my mind and letting life pass me by. I'm craving social interaction again, days out with friends, doing things with my girls, making memories with them instead of being focused on my six days with Calvin. I've come to realize that this time with my daughters I will never get back. I will never have the chance again to redo the things I should have done with them while I mourned the loss of my baby boy. I can't go back to last summer and take my girls to the beach. Mindful of these things, I stepped outside my comfort zone yesterday and bought a swimsuit even though I detest the extra weight I've put on since detoxing. Reminding myself that it's not about me all the time has become my latest mantra, something I say to myself to stay motivated for the sake of my daughters, to step outside my cocoon of comfort. So why am I so sad? Why is it that I'm feeling guilt over feeling better? Maybe part of me feels like it's a betrayal to Calvin, that denying him to be the focus of my life will make him disappear. Maybe I'm afraid of reaching that point where I feel nothing when I say his name, no sadness, no longing for the sweet baby boy who I will never hold again. Maybe I'm afraid of losing him all over again.
In any case, the dreaded Mother's Day is upon us again and despite my best intentions, I have to face the day without him. I am glad to have had my son, even if he lived only six days, even if Mother's Day fills me with melancholy for the life I wish we had had. Some whisper tells me that somewhere he is proud I loved him enough to let him go. And that it makes no difference that I am learning to live again. Somewhere I imagine he smiles....
Can fuckoff this year, it's also my thirty-nineth birthday and it can fuckoff too. No, I'm not feeling particularly down, I'm just not into celebrating either occassion. Woo-Hoo, I'm a Mother to a dead child and I'm on the way to forty...Let's kill two miserable occassions on the same day shall we???
I hate being old. And I hate living and celebrating parenting with a child in Heaven. Enough said.
I have decided to write about my feelings following the death of my only son in November 2008. I'm learning that grief is a process with good days and bad, a lonely road with new beginnings and unavoidable endings. It is my hope that through writing I can come to peace with what has happened to us and our beautiful boy.