Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yesterday Was A Really Bad Day!

I have worked the weekends every weekend for the past 11 years. It was a change that we made to my schedule after we discovered that Seth had PKU (Phenyketonuria) from his newborn screening. We decided that the chances of his diet restrictions being ignored by caregivers at a daycare were too great of a risk to take. So I kept the babies home with me during the week until they went to kindergarten. I had always wanted to keep them out of daycare anyways and Nicole being a teacher and off when the kids are, it was just the best for me as a nurse to work the weekends. Besides, there is never a shortage of weekend shifts. So that has been our routine. Me off during the week and Nicole off on the weekends with the kids. Thank God for Nanna (Nicole's Mom), over the years, knowing that she is there to help Nicole has made it all work.

Well, since Grey's death, I have been alone during the weekdays. This has been a good and bad thing. It has gotten to the point that I have too much time to myself. Not to mention that Nicole is feeling it with 3 older boys all weekend alone. So it has come time for a change.

Sunday, October the 25th was the first Sunday off for me on my new schedule. I am now off on all the Sundays and working 2 additional shifts during the week. We had lots of ideas for the first Sunday and it all got messed up. Luke has been asking me to take him to the Home Depot to get the materials that he needs for his science project, so this had to get done. My van's battery died on Saturday and I needed to get a new one, so Luke and I went to Walmart first, while we were waiting for the van, I saw a Dad and his little boy walking through the Walmart. He was exactly the same age as Grey would be, and his was having a time riding his Daddy's shoulders. He had gotten a toy sword and was very proud to show me as they passed me. My greeting to this little boy was rewarded by a wonderful smile, which shook my heart and soul.

The pain.

The sadness.

I finished the day, and went to work for the night shift. As I drove home in the downpour of a fall thunderstorm, the black mood that had been creeping at the edges of my consciousness took hold. I got home desperate to find some sign of my Baby Boy, my Greyson, some sign that he was real, not a dream. something that he had touched, I went to his room and pressed my face to his bed breathing deeply, trying to catch some wisp of his scent, dust.

I panicked, I grabbed his Halloween Costume, the darling Giraffe, which I knew we had never washed, DUST!

Tears stinging my eyes, I stood in the middle of his room, trying not to lose it. His room didn't have the scent of sweet baby smell anymore, just the staleness of a unused room. I collapsed to sit in the middle of the room, and just blubbered like a baby. It has been over 10 months since he left us and the pain is just as new, just as raw, just as strong as ever. So much for the healing of time.

After sitting there for I don't know how long, I pulled myself out of his room and decided to blog about my feelings to keep myself busy until I had to leave to pick Seth up for his checkup at the Pediatricians. Those that know me may or may not know that one of the very problematic symptoms of my grieving process has been that I have been having sleep issues. At times I lie awake unable to shut off my mind, the last week of my son's life replaying endlessly in my mind.
Or more annoying, I fall asleep without even realizing it and sleep as if I, myself am dead. Nothing wakes me. NOT an alarm, not the phone, nothing short of shaking me awake works. I have been as much as a 2 hours late to work a couple of times.

Seth's appointment was for 9:30 am and I was going to pick him up and then drop him back at school after. I fell asleep typing on my blog, sitting up on the couch. Seth, sure that I had a car wreck, called Nicole at her school and she called me. 15 times. I woke up at 11:20 am, a crick in my neck and having missed the appointment totally.

My grief counselor has assured me that my issues with sleep are just a symptom of my grief. That in time it will pass. That when my mind can't handle it anymore, it shuts down.

So much for not curling into a ball and not moving. So much for being strong. I just keep letting people down.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Memories of My Grey....

I have found myself running through all of my memories of our brief time with our sweet boy. Most of the time, these moments happen to me on the way home in the morning after working a night shift. I guess that this is a improvement, because it wasn't that long ago that being alone on the night shift was just torture. Being alone with myself, I would be racked by the grief and regrets of dreams lost. At this particular point, I am travelling the memory circuit, transported back in time to the memories of the worst period of my life, the illness and death of my baby boy.

Not all of the memories are terrible, some are actually quite pleasant. All of them are laced with sadness.

The past couple of mornings, I have been replaying in my head, one particular memory. It was after we knew that Grey was terminal and his small body was rebelling against him. He was paralyzed and unable to move, when we held him it was like holding a newborn, we had to support his head and he would just melt in your arms, as if he were still a newborn. Nicole and I had my parents over to the house for dinner. We were trying to make sure that everyone spent some time with Greyson. We were still grasping at straws that Greyson might not be dying, that he would be paralyzed, but he would live. Anyway, I was sitting on the same couch that Grey and I always napped on. My Mom was sitting next to me on my left side and my Dad was sitting across the room on the opposite couch with Nicole. The boys were playing together on the XBox and I was holding Greyson on my chest with his face snuggled against me. Grey had lost all control of his head and as a result he always laid his head on my chest or shoulder. He was facing my Mom and she was talking to him. He was smiling and just taking it all in with his big, beautiful eyes. All of a sudden, he made a little cooing sound, which at this point, took a lot of effort and started to scratch at my shoulder, opening and closing his little hand. Just this simple little move took enormous effort for him to do at this point, and I was trying to figure out what Grey wanted. My Mom looked at Grey and asked "Is that your Daddy? Does your Daddy got you?" Greyson sighed a big sigh and scratched at my shoulder again smiling a grand smile. "Yes, Sweetheart, you love your Daddy don't you?" more smiles and sighing. Greyson snuggled against me even closer, as much as he could manage. My eyes were stung by tears, my heart pounding. My boy was making sure that he told his Nonnie how much he loved me.

Loved me....

I can count myself in a very exclusive club. I have experience the truest and purest form of love. The unchanged true and unconditional love of a parent for a seriously ill child. The complete acceptance of someone and the complete devotion of that child to me.

Definitely one of the special "Gifts" that Greyson has given to me.

I miss him.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Don't Have The Answers....

The other day, a father that I have been corresponding with sent me the following message:

"How do you make it through the day? It is so hard, I just can't get through some days."

My heart aching, I can totally sympathize with him. His loss is fresher that mine, his little boy only gone a few months, but I recognize and feel the pain that he is talking about. The pain makes you crazy and sure that if you take one more breath, your chest will surely burst. And instead of finding your heart, only a huge, gaping wound staring back from your empty chest. The sadness and pain can be crippling, paralyzing. I consumes very thought and breath totally. Tasks temporarily deaden and distract you from the pain, but it is constantly your companion and quickly returns.

This Father's plea for hope tore at me. I so wanted to be able to tell him that everything will be alright, that he will make it. The truth is, I can't. There are days still that I just don't know how I will manage to carry on. On the 12 th of this October, it was 10 months since our Grey died. I had a very rough time. I tried to blog, and wound up deleting it after trying to express my feeling for a couple of hours. Sometimes I just can't put into words what I am feeling. I just hurt too much.

I miss him too much.

I want to hold him too much.

In the end, all I could do was send this father a few empty words about trying to concentrate on supporting his wife, remembering the good memories and making time to fall apart.

Sounds pretty empty to me too.

How I wish I had the answers, for me as well as him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just Broken.

How are you and the family doing?

It's a pretty common question. All of us ask it when we run into friends that we haven't seen of heard from for a while. It is almost a reflex.


The thing is, for me, nothing is normal, and I really am beginning to doubt that things will ever be normal again. My counselor tells me that I am stuck, broken and stuck, and that I will remain so until I get sick and tired of being sick and tired. If it didn't hurt so much it would almost sound like one of those jokes like "Who's on first?" She says that I need to be patient with myself and that I will continue to proceed though my grief in a manner that is right for me. Until then, she says to fake it. For the sake of family and close friends, fake it.

Fake that I am able to function?

Fake that I am not ready to scream all of the time?

Fake that work is just tedious at best?

Fake that I am happy?


I really think that she means that I need to fake that I am dealing with the loss of my Grey. Fake that every breath doesn't burn with grief and guilt.

Fake that the fact that he has started to feel like a dream is making me lose my mind!

Fake that I remember what it feels like to have him melt into my arms.

Fake that I am not alone.

Fake that I know what I am doing.

Broken. There is no other way to describe how I feel. Loving him hurts. Missing him hurts. Knowing that my boys and my darling Nicole are missing him hurts. Knowing that Nicole is faking it for me hurts. She still cries herself to sleep at night sometimes.


I wish I knew how to proceed from here. I am away from home and my wife most of the nights during the week. It is almost as if Nicole and I are just dating. We see each other less that people that are dating. This can't be healthy for our marriage. But she never complains. She is always supportive.


I wish I knew where things are going from here.

Thank God that I have my family.