Monday, 29 May 2017

Living without You: Diary of a grieving Mom

PART 1 (Entries 1-5)

Entry #1:
It's been a week since you left and I still have no words. I have so many thoughts and so many feelings but to find how to eloquently put them down on paper has me curling up in a ball and crying... again.

Entry #2:
I fear for tomorrow as I take Mackenzie to school without you. I have done it before when you weren't well enough to go or had appointments, but this time is so different. I had always come back to you. Now I will come back to an empty house. That emptiness fills my heart too. There is a hole never to be filled again. You took a piece, a chunk of me when you left that day. I am thankful you have us with you, but I don't know how to live without a piece of my heart. I know a piece of you still lives in my heart and I feel you, I feel you around me every day, every minute but it pains me not to be able to see you, feel you or hear you.
I keep asking why, asking so many questions even though I know the answers are all in my heart. I just don't want to believe them.

Entry #3:
Two weeks today I let you go. I remember like it was just moments ago.
I lay next you, holding your hand in mine. Your body was so warm, so hot next to mine. I cuddled you, kissed you and traced my fingers across the curve of your shoulder and over your chest. Your breaths were short and deep. I could hear every breath as you slipped away in your deep sleep.

I lay there awake tears in my eyes, my stomach in knots as I knew these were my last hours with you. As tired as I was, I could not sleep. Every time I was close, my body shook me awake.

Then after midnight, his breathing quieted. The noise was silenced but it took his whole body to breathe. His shoulder pressed forward with each inhale and back as he exhaled. I could feel every breath.

I kept whispering in his ear, telling him how much I loved him. I kissed every one of his fingers and placed my hand on his chest. His heart was beating fast, but strong.

Strange things were happening. The power went out, the fan blowing on us stopped and restarted. The nurse came to check that his oxygen was still running and then left us alone. I felt scared. Not because I knew he was dying, but that there was something or someone else in the room. My body trembled next to him. I laid there trying to be strong and brave for him, but inside the fear was growing. I saw a flash of light outside and thought there must be a storm. Before long my computer turned on and Inspire popped up on screen. It was eerie.

I knew it was soon. I pressed my hand harder on his chest to try to feel his heartbeat. It was slow and faint. He paused between each breath. I held my breath. I moved closer to him. I whispered be free.

I could no longer feel his heartbeat, so I held his hand, gently running my thumb across the top of his limp hand. I leaned over him to see his face. His breaths were now slow and shallow and took little effort on his battered body. At 3:11 a.m. I watched my baby, my sweet little boy take his last breath here on Earth.

I called the nurse as Mark and Mackenzie, who were sleeping on the couch beside the bed, came running over. Our family sat together listening to Xavier's song Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Our last time altogether in body.

These moments are etched in my mind forever. It was so peaceful so perfect as an ending could ever be. As haunting as the memory is, it is the most precious and intimate moments I could have ever had with my son.

Entry #4:
Tonight (May 26) Mackenzie said something so powerful and so simple that I couldn't have said it better myself. She said Mom the puzzle isn't complete. There is a corner piece missing. It's supposed to be four piece, one for you, dad, Xavier and me. That corner piece is missing.

Entry #5: (May 29)
Thank you for the signs. Call it a coincidence, call it nonsense, but I can't help but believe my boy (maybe with God's help!) is sending us signs from Heaven.
Before Xavier died and was still awake and responsive in the ICU, we talked about him going to Heaven. I had him promise to send me signs and he said one of those signs would be a robin.
Of course after he died I looked at every robin as a sign and of course they are everywhere this time of the year. But the real sign didn't come until the timing was perfect.
IT was a horrible night for us all. Just days ago none of could sleep, but only cry. We missed Xavier so much. That night Mark asked Xavier to visit. And I asked to know that he was OK.
The next day sitting on the kid's play set was a baby robin unable to fly. It hopped around the yard, from beside the window, to the bench and into the garden. This morning there he was sitting on the fence in front of the kitchen window.
Seeing this robin brought so much comfort to us in the last couple days. And late this afternoon we watched as it flew away. We had worried about the little guy, but seeing him fly today let us know that he was going to be OK... just like Xavier. This was followed up with a rainbow tonight. I couldn't help but whisper the words of his favourite song ...Somewhere Over the Rainbow ... that's where you'll find me.

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