In one of the bereavement groups I go to, a mom, who is coming up to the 1 year anniversary of her daughter’s death was saying, that she had been feeling really bad recently. It was about a year ago that they found out they could not longer treat her daughter, and that she would die. Some of the other moms said the same thing happens to them – even 11 years later. I know that every year, around the anniversary of my dad’s death, I get very sad too – it has been 9 years since he has been gone. Often, I am not even THINKING about it, I just get very sad.
I am sure that will happen for many years to come, if not forever with me. This time a year ago, we were going through Alexander’s Bone Marrow Transplant. While, he did very well, he did have some very rough days. They give chemo to kill off EVERYTHING, and the kids can get very sick. Alexander, who already had blood pressure problems from his tumor, had even MORE problems, that landed him in the ICU for a few days.
On Friday, January 20th, another young boy, Cole, lost his fight to neuroblastoma. Although, I kind of like how his dad worded it – the cancer did not KILL him – he died to KILL the cancer! The days around his death, waiting for the wake and funeral were hard for me. I was of course very sad for them, but I was also remembering what we went through during those days. I knew how hard it would be for them to have to make the decisions that no parent should ever have to make! I did a lot of praying during those days – prayers for the family, for the strength they would need to make it through.
Growing up we didn’t have pets. Well, I had fish, and my sister had a hamster for a little while, but that was it. Before I got married, I got a cat. I love my cat, and Alexander loved him too. But, I had never really understood how people could be so attached to their pets, I mean, after all it is just an animal. But, recently we had to take Max to the vet for a checkup. He needs a tooth pulled, and they tried to pull it at the office. He CRIED! I almost started crying right then and there! I think that it brought back too many memories of the painful things Alexander had to go through. We had to take him for a Cardiac Echo – again, memories are flooding back into my mind! In two weeks he needs to go under anesthesia, I am wondering how I will handle that, or if I will just have to send Richard off by himself!
I am by no means comparing what Alexander went through with that of a cat. However, it is the feelings of helplessness that are coming back into play. We went through a very traumatic year with Alexander, and just when I think I am doing “better” something like this comes up, and I realize I am still a MESS! I know it hasn’t even been a year yet, but I can have such good days, and other days, well…..they just aren’t so good. I know there is no time limit on healing – it is just I was going forward pretty well, and now I feel like I am 10 steps back. Back on my sofa, not wanting to DO anything, eat anything, talk to anyone! But, I also know that isn’t good. I do take my days to myself, and I am kind to myself and do only what I can handle. But I also know that I may suffer from the PTSD for the rest of my life. I mean, really, how DOES one get over the lose of a child???