I have been working on several posts for the past few weeks. Many of them start off, ‘ I can’t believe it has been almost 2 weeks…1 month…almost 2 months since my last post….’
As I sit down tonight for another attempt I realized it has been exactly 4 months since Kai died. 4 months, almost to the minute as I type this…
So much has happened that I don’t know where to begin. I’v sat down many times to write but I have been having a hard time getting myself to put together a string of thoughts worth sharing.
Every time I go to write I find myself spending hours reading back through the previous posts. I never re-read these posts when Kai was alive, but now it’s all I have.
The more time goes by the more I hold onto those words and experiences of the days when he was here. I get sucked in as if I am reading someone else’s story, someone else’s life. It’s surreal.
I read backwards one post after another trying to catch up with the days he was still an active character. Trying to catch up to the days we spent together, to the pictures of him smiling outside the hospital walls. Trying to catch up to the days when I was living this life with Kai.
I read it back over and over- holding on to the good days, trying to reassure myself of the decisions I made, searching to find the answers about what’s next.
I’ve rarely questioned my decisions in Kai’s life, knowing I researched and agonized and fought for him everyday, but I will admit lately –out of desperate longing to have him back- I have doubted myself in ways I never thought I would. In ways that all of us bereaved cancer parents do.
In my determined quest to always focus on his quality of life, did I give up to easily? Should I have pushed harder, treated longer…
My friends who tried everything and anything have the opposite doubts “should we have let him go sooner? Kept him from the pain?” And my friends whose children went suddenly question if there was something they missed…
No matter which choices we make or which way they go we will all, at some point, question these things because no matter what happened it should not have ended this way.
Looking around all I have left of him are these posts and books of happy pictures. Pictures of him playing and smiling and eating and doing things. Pictures of him contently sleeping in my arms -needing nothing more in the world.
His room is piled with his things. His crib it still up. His cloths are still in his dresser. I still have diapers and medicine and therapy toys everywhere. I go into his room often just to look around, but the chaos is overwhelming and then the photos suck me in. I look at the pictures and I see this smiling happy boy and it is so hard to remember how sick he was. Its hard to remember the pain I was trying to save him from by letting him go. In the pictures he doesn’t look sick or in pain and I can’t help but question my decisions.
As I look at that little smile, wispy blond hair and big brown eyes, I have to remind myself that these images are only one small fraction of his life. I hate that instead of enjoying these sweet photos and memories, the only thing I have left, I have to sit there and convince myself that behind those smiles was pain. I have to remind myself that he was dying the whole time. That he was suffering even in the sweetest moments. Remembering how hard his life was is the only way I can convince myself that I did the right thing.
In my heart I know that Kai and I spent wonderful quality time together but if my head allows me to remember those moments I don’t know how I would be able to face each day without him at least right now. So it has been 4 months since Kai died and I cannot let myself hear his laugh. I can not feel his hair or smell his skin. It has been four months and I get up and out of bed everyday. I work to make life better for those around me. I go to school and visit friends. But really everyday I wake up and float through life numb.
It has been exactly 4 months since Kai died. 4 months ago at this exact moment I held him as his body gave in, his suffering stopped and I became the mother of a baby who died of cancer. How could I possibly be anything but numb…
20 thoughts on “4 months.”
I can’t bear to read your words nor can I stop. They tear at my heart and restore it. Your love for Kai is pure and overwhelming and amazing and inspiring and I am awed by it. And you. I love you.
You are four months into your grief journey. My heart aches for you, as I know words do not adequately express your loss and longing. I have also lost a child. It is wonderful that you are writing and reaching out. It will benefit you so much. It is very early in your grief and one of the worst times now as the shock and numbness wear off. You are going through that in this post. Shock is a cushion for the reality that takes a long time to grasp. I am so, so sorry!
Think of you often. Hold the memories close to your heart, as Kai is always with you in spirit! ❤
*hugs* You are exactly where you need to be in your journey of grief. I’m so glad you have Kai’s things to connect with and so many memories to comfort you. It is a difficult and often lonely road to walk. There is no right or wrong way, only your way. The things you are feeling are normal, albeit painful. Be gentle with yourself and honor however you feel. Writing is such good therapy, even if you don’t publish it. As you process and integrate, it will change. You will always miss him and he will always be with you in spirit. The first year is by far the most difficult to navigate. The love you share transcends life and death. It always will. I know it doesn’t bring him back to you and that is so unfair. Thinking of you and sending love and light.
Despite all these feelings you ooze positive vibes. I sat next to you for dinner and again during group and couldn’t help but hug you! This numb feeling we have is a blessing. Things still hurt too much when it’s not there. That may never change. But look at all those amazing things you are doing! I am in awe of you! You may say that you wouldn’t be there without your “village” but you are and you are standing with a huge smile and infectious laugh! I love you for that! You are beautiful inside and out. I look forward to the next time I see you. Stay well.
Praying that you begin to feel peace with your decisions and that you know that you did the best for Kai. Spending time with you and Kai at camp it was obvious how much you loved him and that you would do anything for him. And although he didn’t verbalize, you could see how much Kai loved you.
Sending much love and hugs,
Kerri – We have never met and yet I follow your story always through Kristin T…I think of you and Kai constantly….You are such a strong woman…you are doing so much good in this world….I admire you so much. I feel like Kai has touched so many people in so many ways…all for the better…..keeping you in my thoughts and prayers….now and always….
You don’t know me, but I deal with grief a lot in my work. What you are feeling is very common. My grandfather, a physician, used to say that there is no death without guilt. Yet you know in your heart that you made only the best decisions for Kai that you possibly could. Try to let go of the guilt, as what you are going through is hard enough without dealing with unnecessary guilt as well. I wish you peace, and I am so very sorry for your loss.
I think you did everything you could for Kai, and that Kai knows that and loves you for it. You’re being so strong. I hope you have a counselor and many, many good friends surrounding you. Wishing you peace.
It makes me so happy to see one of your posts. You are always in my thoughts and in my heart as is your beautiful baby Kai. After reading this entry, I just want to say it is so unfair, so unfair. Forgot about all the right things to say, the right things to do, it is just wrong. It is unfair that this earth lost such a beautiful life. I too look through your past posts and as painful as it is, I seem to have to do it. I look at Kai’s picture daily just to remember and to not let him ever be forgotten. One of your posts that is my favorite and most beautiful is the one I can see clearly now. It is just so poignant and hopefully it is descriptive of how Kai is now. There are no words nothing nothing in this world to make you feel better. I wish I had something, something I could say but all it is is unfair. He should be here, you should be able to feel him in your arms. You should be able to smell his beautiful head. Someday you will again but that is a far comfort now. I’m happy to see you wrote to know that you are are still making such a beautiful difference in this world. Blessings and love to you always. I wish I could give you 1000 hugs and somehow make it better. Kai is beautiful as are you.
Kerri, you are among the bravest, strongest and most beautiful people I have ever met. I will NEVER forget the day we met… Inside those white walls, YOU actually shined a light into my life and you didn’t even know it. Life was so dark and dreary in that moment and your actual presence with Kai, changed that for me then and forever! I’m so very lucky to have gotten to know you and your beautiful family. We shared so many stories and realized that we were living parallel lives. Addie and Kai bonded instantly, as did you and I! 🙂
I think of you EVERY SINGLE DAY… I smile because of how strong and amazing you are and I weep because life isn’t fair. You my friend, are an inspiration!!! I am so very lucky to know you, share with you and relate with you.
Continue on and love those memories, cry your heart out and scream. Kai is a strong loving soul that will carry you through now.
I hope this brings a smile on your face… Know that I am only a text/call away and would LOVE to see your beautiful face! Love you sweetie! Xoxoxo
It is good to read your words again, I was thinking of you a lot, and wondering, how you are doing, and how you manage school and your many tasks. Reading how you go to Keikikai’s room, how you cannot bring yourself to remember the scent of his hair or the touch of his skin, brings tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine how to live with such pain – yet, you do not just live along, you make a difference to people’s lives. You inspire thoughts, emotions, happiness and love – you touch so many hearts. How can you be so strong with the burden of having lost your beautiful baby boy? I am in awe of you.
The numbness is your protection, it’s a shelter, your soul made for itself to be able to deal with the pain. The numbness will go away in time, and you will be able to think of all the beautiful details of your baby, and it will probably hurt immensely. But the memories will be yours, forever, and until the far away day that you will take him in your arms again. He will protect you until then, he will watch over you, and I am sure that your amazing strength also comes from having this loving bond with your baby. Do not feel guilt, you have done nothing wrong. Whichever decision you would have taken, all that matters, is that you did everything you could and that you love Kai. You know, he smiled his radiant smile, because – despite all his pain and suffering – he was carried, and still is, by your endless love. Keep loving him, he knows you are there, and your heart knows that he is there for you, too. I send love to you, a total stranger, who is so near to my heart. I think of you and your baby boy.
Sending LOVE & PRAYERS for your healing…..YOU and your PRECIOUS ANGEL are SO LOVED!!!! GOD BLESS!!!
It was immensely noticeable the very first time I set eyes on you, Kai and your Mom that Kai was a very special little boy. The love that emminated from all of you was monumental. As you were lucky to have Kai for a short time, he was as lucky to have you. Trust your feelings now as you did when making the decisions regarding Kai’s care. They were right then and they will be right now. Thank you for sharing.
Love & prayers for u Kerri!
From Suzanne, http://www.themourningafternatasha.wordpress.com
Kerri, My Natasha passed away four months ago from brain tumor. I understand how you feel. You’re not alone.
Suzanne, Natasha’s mom
I’m so sorry for your loss.You and Kai are still in my thoughts.
please don’t let the demons take over. you were in THE hospital to be in this world and they would never have let him go had he had a chance. My boy died three years ago, and I am still very thankful to know we did all we could. The thought that maybe we should have let go earlier came very late, actually maybe connected to reading your blog. We have never met, but Celeste Welch recommended your blog, and I was deeply touched. It helped me very much with my grieving process. the pain of letting go, it hurt so much when I was reading your blog, more than when I actually went through it, because of having to cope and because of the numbness. Thank you very much! Know you are a born mother, and maybe one day you will dare to have another baby. It is not easy, we had our daughter while our son was still alive, and it still remains complicated, but I do believe it helped.
Kerri – please know that even though Kai is gone, you are still in so many peoples hearts around this nation and still serve as such an inspiration to so many mothers and fathers alike as to what true devotion and unconditional love is. Kai’s spirit and joy lives on in so many ways, ways that you will never know that effect people that you will never know. You and Kai have truly held our family’s hearts, prayers, and love for many months and will continue to do so for many months/years to come. My 4 year old, a very sensitive little boy, says a prayer every night and every night he says “good night” to Kai – a boy he has never met, but a boy he knows made this world a better place. Our little family in Denver sends you all of your love and strength as you continue your own journey.