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…