Friday, January 25, 2008

Feeling It

After our traumatic trip to the ER last week plus the traumatic drug reaction that brought me as close to psychotic as I ever want to be, I'm feeling the loss.

This time 12 years ago Bren was very very sick. He tried to die several times but my female Christian friends came to sit deathwatch with me. Six women who cared so much for Brennan and me. Brennan refused to die.

I wasn't ready to let him go quite yet. I literally willed that kid to live. He slept on my chest, sitting up on the couch, every night. I had a double receiving blanket under his head because he drooled incessantly. The poor dear was unable to swallow. He was also unable to keep his mouth closed. The part of his brain that controlled those things was damaged. He was not paralyzed but had very little voluntary movement.

He would lie his head on my chest, listening to my heart that kept beating despite my pain. He would whimper when not comfortable and hum when I sang to him or played his lullaby tape(by Micheal Card). I would sing and talk to him until I was sure he slept. Then I would sleep right there, sitting up, feeling his small heart still beating.

He was on an oximeter to measure how much oxygen he was getting. He was being fed through an NG tube 18 hours a day. He needed to be suctioned out because he could not rid himself of mucus. This became a routine part of the day. I also gave him his medication through a porta-cath on schedule. He was on a med that was every 4 hours for awhile and I set the alarm to get up to do it.

He slept on my chest every night for the last three weeks of his life. I would catch naps when the home pediatric nurse was there. I did not want to be away from him because I knew soon he would be gone forever.

My poor little boy who never had a chance at life. Who would never grow up to drive me nuts as a 7th grader(where he'd be now). He never got to even crawl. He did not know what he missed. He took comfort in Geo, my women friends who loved to hold him, the noises he could hear from his brothers and from me. We were one in a way that is impossible to describe.

I miss him. I miss him as a baby. I miss him as he would have been the last 12 years if he had been healthy. I just miss him. I pray we will meet again in heaven one day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A New Viewpoint

This is not meant to be a put myself down or blame myself for my reactions to what we went through. I just had some scales fall from my eyes so I could see how those around me were affected by Brennan's death and the way I reacted.

I have done my family a disservice. These events did not just happen to Brennan and me. They happened to the entire family.

This is where our fairly happy and functional family started on the long road to dysfunctionality and my long pity party.

I have always thought of this as my tragedy. My baby died. That little boy who grew in my body, was fed from my body, was a physical part of me~it was my loss more than anyone's. Wrong. It was our family's tragedy and my martyr type behavior caused the cracks of dysfunction and anger that we are now trying to deal with.

I hugged my anger and my grief to myself for far too long. Anyone who tried to break that shell around me paid.

I think my biggest fear is that someone would know I was to blame for his death. Not rational but I was raised Catholic and our God was vengeful. Brennie was too young for God to be angry enough so in my self centered way, it must be my fault. Maybe Geo's fault. Someone had to be at fault. If no one was at fault, why did it happen?

I thought I was coping well, I lied to myself. I needed drugs to barely cope, I used the drugs to blunt my anger and grief, and that fact became obvious to me in the last few weeks.

Who helped Geo? Not me. I just chalked it up to men grieve differently and left him to twist in the wind.

I think I did okay with the kids except the after mother was not like the before mother. I still loved them, but my grief drowned them out many, many times.

I wallowed in my pool of martyrdom alone. I used people so that I could wallow without the kids around.

I had some great insights and I was completely blind.

I offered no comfort to my inlaws. I have no mercy for them. They were the enemy because I could feel what I thought to be my SIL's hostility. I thought she thought she could take better care of my kids.

Selfishly, I clung to my extreme anger not knowing who to be angry with.

Time to kick the martyr out of me.

Brennan was loved by many and I unfairly held him close to me.