Monday, September 13, 2010
I don't know what to do with myself. The deep sorrow has arrived, and I don't want to turn it away.
I sat here and read the medication journal that I kept during Michael's last two weeks. In the margin I made notes about what he was experiencing. Whether he was calm, or agitated. Whether he was sleeping, or groaning. Whether his breathing was steady, or if he had the death rattle.
I apologize, this may not be something that others want to read. I may choose to post this, or I may choose to delete it. I don't know. How am I supposed to know what to do all the time?
In reading my notes from last year I was wishing I had the presence of mind to write more about when he would awaken, or look for me, or reach out for me. Those things happened, but at what time?
I know this probably sounds so agonizing, and that I am just putting myself to needless pain. But that's not how I see this. I feel like I owe it to Michael to walk through this once again. I want to remember how his last days, and his last hours, went. I don't want to allow myself to forget those difficult details, as they were difficult realities that he had to endure. I see in my notes how I panicked at one point, and called the nurse. Michael was very agitated, and I needed someone to tell me how to relieve him of his pain. I needed to hear a voice tell me that everything, and anything, I do for him now is okay.
Although I am writing this just after midnight, I will be time stamping it for 6:05 am. On this night last year it was clear to me that Michael was leaving me. My son Remy wanted to sleep in the room with Michael and I, and I laid in the middle, trying to hold on to each of them. Around 3am Michael's breathing took a significant turn. This woke Remy up, and he realized he could not stay in the room. He was scared and began to cry. I sent him upstairs to sleep with my daughter. I then went to awaken Michael's mother, and let her know that he was beginning to leave us. She joined me in our bedroom, and laid beside her son. Each of us held on to one of his hands, and we didn't let go for three hours. I didn't allow myself to sleep. I sat there, looking into his face, kissing him, and speaking quietly to him.
At 6:05 am Michael took his last breath. I put my mouth to his to kiss him goodbye. When he let out his last breath, I took it in.
For just a few seconds, the world was completely silent. I didn't hear a thing. No sound came from me. Then suddenly, without missing a beat, two years of anguish came pouring out of my soul. My heart became brittle, and began to shatter. I found myself on the floor, with my kids arms all around me.
That was the beginning of my journey alone. And as I sit here preparing for my vigil, I know that I am not completely alone. There are many on this journey with me. It can be dark and lonely, but there is always a hand reaching out to me when ever I need it.
That is the blessing that I can take with me as this first year comes to an end.