Coming up to the first anniversary of Alexander’s death, I have been thinking. People grieve differently. Nancy and I had a conversation about what was going on with our grief. Here is how I feel and Nancy will add her side of the story later interspersed though this blog.
I am a rational person and not a very emotional outwardly. I see Alexander’s passing though my “rose colored glasses” differently that Nancy. There are the five stages of grief which I seem to have passed thought with very little problem.
Bargaining. I never really bargained during Alexander’s illness. I did not promise anything that I could not deliver. I did not ask God to heal my son and promise to be a better person. I just hoped that all would work out. When Alexander was dying I did not ask for one more day. I just accepted the sad truth about what was happening. I look at the other children who had to go through a long drawn out process before they passed away. Would I have survived a long drawn out process of Alexander dying? Would I have to grasp for straws and hope that all would have turned out okay? I don’t know. I know that the decision to turn of the respirator that was helping Alexander live was very hard. I did not want to let him go but it was the right thing to do at the time.
Nancy and I had a conversation during Alexander’s cancer treatment about if Alexander were to die. How we would want it to happen. Not that we thought it would every get to that point. We both agreed that it would be best for him to die in our arms at home in his room. He got part of the wish he did die in our arms with family around us. This did not make it any less heart wrenching or sad.
Denial. I have no denial issues. I was there when he passed away. Nancy and I held him in our arms. We had a funeral and buried him. I cried when I read the passage that I though would be appropriate to put on the back of his remembrance card. I can’t deny any of these things.
Anger. I am not anger at Alexander’s dying. Alexander did nothing wrong. He was a great baby. He smile and laughed, played, enjoyed being read to and trying to catch bubble. It was not his fault that he got cancer. I am not angry at the doctors for not curing him. I believe that all of the doctors did everything in their power and knowledge to treat Alexander. I am not angry at myself for any of the decisions that were made. The treatment protocols were designed by doctors with their knowledge of how treatment is supposed to follow. Nancy and I followed what the doctors said. Nancy has said that she feels “cheated”, while I feel “graced” to have been part of his life. My grace is looking to the past and Nancy’s cheated is looking forward a future that will never be. Is it wrong not feels angry about a future that will never be? Since I can’t deny what happened why worry or feel upset or angry about something that has not happened. I feel that anger needs to be focused on something. When I do get angry I am more upset that our new child will get sick like Alexander did and why would I have to go thought this again. But even this thought is quickly put out of my thoughts because we are not there yet.
Nancy gets upset when people say or do stupid things (eg. “God has plans,” or “at least he is not in any pain.” Or “are you going to have more children?”) I let all of these comments just roll off my back and let them go. I have no idea if I am doing God’s plan for me. I am living my life for me.
Acceptance. I have accepted that fact that Alexander is not with us any more. I am saddened by this realization. I have accepted the fact that I will not be able to create more memories with Alexander. I either don’t know how mourn a future that will never happen. Like seeing Alexander walk or talk, taking him apple picking, going to school, or any of a thousand of other things that we may have done together. This type of acceptance does not mean that I don not get sad when I think about Alexander. I just means I know he is gone from my life and all of the people that he effected.
Getting up out of bed every morning. Some times wonder if I care. How can it be so easy to get up and do things every day. I lost one of the most important parts of my life last April first. I get up and start the daily activities. On Monday this includes doing the laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning the floors, and other little things around the house. I sit and play my silly face book games all the time. I get up and I walk around the block without Alexander. I go food shopping with Nancy but without Alexander. Last week with the perfect weather, I worked on my garden and cleaning up the outside of my house without Alexander. Is that living? Do these things make me happy? Or are they just fillers in my life to take up the space where Alexander should be?
Nancy gets up set at me for getting up. “don’t you understand how hard it is to get up out of bed,” she says, “ I would not get up if I did not have to go to the bathroom or eat something.” “Why don’t you just stay in bed?” she questions me. I just can’t stay in bed and feel sad. I need to have the house clean in order to stay sane. I don’t want to be depressed. I have been down that road once and don’t want to go back there.
It has been said that men can compartmentalize life very easily. Whether it be work, home, play, or any other thing. Have I done this with Alexander? Or Nancy? Or my Family? Or other people in my life. I look around the house and see all of the pictures of Alexander. Am I really seeing them or just glancing over them. I can make my self sad every day by going over to cemetery and talking with Alexander or by pressing on Sammy the seahorse’s belly and thinking about how he loved that toy. But I don’t do that. I do visit Alexander at the cemetery and blow bubbles some times I cry some times I don’t.
Nancy is upset at my family for thing they have done either incorrectly by her standards or not done at all. I am less concerned about their actions than my own actions. Nancy’s family is very close while my family is very distant. If Nancy does not speak to her mom at least five time a day, well … If I speak to my brother or sister five time in half a year we are doing good. Nancy has lots of extended family in her life coming to be with her on this sad anniversary . I wrote a letter to my extended family last January to try to reconnect but never mail it.
So where I am going with all of this?? I don’t really know. I just miss my beautiful boy.