There’s really no good way to recap this. It is all such a blur, but a painful, numbing one and not the fluid or fuzzy kind of blur. I stared at the clock on my car dashboard today as the time changed to 12:55pm – the time they ‘called’ his death and stopped efforts to revive him. I know now he was already long gone by then. The sound of the voice in the room that had to utter that official phrase to record his death still rings in my ears.
I’m my mind, I know he took his last breaths and his heart beat it’s last times in the moments we were making the 911 call and I was holding him and trying to stimulate him to breathe. Those moments, with us, in our house, were his last. Everything after that now just seems like a formality we have had to endure to try to save him because of our own expectations. I hear phantom cries in the mornings when I first wake up. Antonio has said he’s woken up at night and seen his face and a reddish light over our bed. I want to believe he is here.
People do not expect babies to die – especially growing, healthy, thriving almost one year olds with no known illness. The entire process had been a stark realization that we are not in control of the outcome of our expectations. Ever. We expect that even if our baby or child is sick or has an accident that there is something that can be done to save them. We’ve all become so very detached from these sort of things and just how often they do happen. That detachment has made it very awkward for me to figure out how to approach the rest of my life right now.
It’s been a month and I’ve only just started to learn that I’m probably not going to be ‘okay’ for a very long time. That doesn’t mean that other parts of life won’t go on and won’t be enjoyed, but the part of me that learns how to cope and grieve is not going to feel any better no matter what face I put on and walk around with. There are physical components to my grief that I am slowly becoming aware of. Food doesn’t taste as good. Nothing is really appealing. I’m not really aware of being hungry until I’m too hungry and feel sick, and when I do eat I often am full very quickly. My brain is numb and trying to focus on things I should and need to be working on are just impossible. Not for lack of wanting to do the task, but I can not bring my brain to make sense of it and get it done. It’s like walking around stunned where everything around you is like jumbled noise and all you hear is a piercing ringing in your ears.
I had a particularly hard few days last week and they were so painful and difficult that I just sort of cut off feeling and thinking about it for a few days. Complete detachment. It was temporarily better, but then so much worse. It was worse because I realized I can not run from this. I can’t pretend like nothing happened. I can’t pretend the most horrific thing in the world didn’t just happen right before my eyes without a single explaination. As I discover this new path in my life, and I meet people that are 6 months, 2 years, or 5 years or more into the grieving process, I feel completely naive to think we could just accept the facts as they were and move on. I am now understanding the complexities of such emotional and mental trauma. Everything you think you know about it, it’s so naive. So incredibly well meant, but completely misguided.
I am grieving the loss of what I had, what I worked so hard to create, and then all the things I was expecting to still get. So many unmet expectations. This is one of the most complex parts of a loss like this – it’s all the things we expected him to be abe to do, try, enjoy, and experience, and our expercience of him doing them, that we have lost. We didn’t just lose a baby – we lost a little boy that was someone’s brother, someone’s best friend, someone’s soulmate. All that future ahead of him we expected to have is just forever gone. We’ve lost this unique little piece of our family that can never be replaced.
So in a month I’ve learned that this isn’t going to end any time soon, we’ve lost so much more than we initially realized, and that there are many things yet to discover in this process that we are still completely ignorant to. All I know is I miss him. If you wish you could do anything to help me, my only wish would be to bring him back. We all know that isn’t going to happen. There’s really nothing else right now that is going to help until we get to a point in our grief that we can start to heal. It will never be ‘all better’. There will always be a deep wound with a scar, but I have been told that one day there will be some healing. It won’t go away, but it will feel better. It just seems like a nice idea right now, and no where near a reality.