I often think about those doctors, both the neurosurgeons as well as the neonatologists and the nurses we met while at SickKids... Whether they knew all along we were facing an uphill battle. Whether they have ever thought of Jack, or of his family, since he died... Promises of recovery were never made to us, and we were cautioned we were dealing with a very sick little boy. But still, until we were told he had no functioning, I don't think I had let my mind "go there", to the place where we would ultimately have to say goodbye.
|January 5, 2011.|
A year ago today, we delved into the world of organ donation. Initiating the steps which would ultimately result in a liver donation to a sick little boy in the United States. Something I am so grateful he was able to do, yet so sad would be the final chapter to his life. Of course, it it had been up to me, he would have grown to be his own person with his own life and family. But that can never be. Fuck.
In the beginning, there were promises he would always be remembered. That he would be cherished, and adored and missed from afar. That we could always speak of him. But here we are, a year later ad people want us not to speak of him as though he was some sort of imaginary figure. But he wasn't, and he isn't imaginary, and he is very much a part of the story of our lives as any living children we may be blessed with would be. I conceived him. I carried him. I birthed him. I loved him. Then I said goodbye, all too soon. He was real, and he is adored.
My husband's family has been quite clear in their most recent behaviour that they don't want to talk about him. They didn't even call or email or anything on Jack's birthday... Not because they didn't remember, but "because somethings are better not talked about"... Do you know how much this infuriates me? To know you are discounting the greatest tragedy of my life for your own comfort- so that you can avoid the feelings of grief? Do I think they have any idea how often I replay the last moments of his life, and wish desperately it would have been me that lay there, breathing through a ventilator, rather than him? Do I think they had any concept of the fact that not calling did not equate with us not missing him over here? That rather than recognizing it would have been his very first birthday, they instead chose to ignore it for their own benefit?
I know it's painful. I know this, because I live it day in and day out. At the end of the day, they can lay their head upon their pillow and sleep comfortably knowing their two boys continue to live and breathe. All the while I tuck a tiny stuffed bear given to my boy by a sweet nurse at SickKids into my shirt, to snuggle safely all night long. How wonderful it must be to be ignorant of the fact their son's life is very much different to the one they have because someone is missing. That by simply closing their eyes, they're able to block it all out. I know they loved him, but to push him aside like he belongs in only a memory is not only an insult, but it's infuriating. The only they've fooled into thinking he no longer matters is themselves.
At the end of the day, no one will tell me how to grieve my son. No one will tell me not to speak of him. No one will tell me when enough time has passed to have "gotten over it". It burns to think that one day he won't be spoken of, that he'll fade into the background- that is not okay with me. Of course I cry when I speak of him- I MISS HIM. Plain and simple. I will continue to miss him even once my arms are filled with his sister, because I love them both.
All it does is reinforce why I was worried about being pregnant once again. Because rather than being a source of hope for what we pray will come in the form of a healthy baby, it makes me feel like people see her as an opportunity for them to be grandparents again, because it was taken from them. But it's not about them- not in the least. At this point, I would be surprised if I even let them into the hospital to meet their granddaughter once she is born, because if he isn't anything to them, why should she be, just because she's (hopefully) alive?
I have so much more to say, so much more. But this is all I can get out for now.