Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nearly two years ago....

The day is fast approaching. This time two years ago, we knew we were in the midst of the fight for Everett's life, and we knew we were losing it. Whether we wanted to admit it or not, we knew any efforts made at this point were last ditch efforts. The writing was on the wall. And the butterfly was on the IV pole.

The pretty, gauzy butterfly dangling from the IV pole. The unspoken signal that this baby wasn't going to make it. They didn't want to say that's what it was, and they didn't need to. "We know to sign the butterfly when we see it" says it all really. And then there was the lady who came to cast his foot, without a word to us from the nurses she was coming, we hadn't asked, but she was summoned none the less, to create a momento for us, because everyone knew his battle was nearly lost.

We knew it, but we couldn't accept it. We knew it was over, and we knew that as soon as we let go, he would go, but we could not face it. Instead we prayed, we retreated to quiet rooms and corridors and bathrooms at Sick Kids and prayed and pleaded that God would heal him, and that we wouldn't have to actually say goodbye. And we whispered in Everett's ear, encouraging words, and desperate words, and I begged him to stay with me, I begged him not to go.

The day before he died, we spent the day with Landon, clinging to the last little bit of hope we had, that he was having a day of rest after another proceedure, and when we returned, we'd have good news, and he will have turned a corner and all would be well.

The next day we sat at his bedside during a routine head ultrasound, and we read the look on the ultrasound technicians face, crystal clear. It was over. "I'll go talk to your Dr. he'll be over to see you". The Dr's face said it too, and he refered us to yet another Dr. who explained to us what we already knew, because we knew what they were looking for. He confirmed to us that Everett had a brain bleed, a side effect of his ECMO, which was saving his life and taking it all at once.

Later that day, we called family to his bedside, and had him baptized, and then we took him off his life support and we held our breath waiting to see if he would breath on his own, or if his heart could do the work itself, and then he died. The Dr's handed him to us as quickly as possible and the earth fell away from our feet. I've never known such pain and such crippling loss. The world stopped making any sort of sense.

Its been two years, but it feels like yesterday. And as this anniversary approaches, suddenly its on us, I have no idea what to do or how to cope. We'll be visiting family in New York City this year, so I'll be away from the familiar, his things, his grave, my bed. And I wonder how I'll cope without having a place to hide and withdraw and break into pieces if need be. I can only pray that God will be with us and give us comfort, and that our family will understand our need for space and sensitivity, and will cut us some slack when we seem like we've lost our heads.

We haven't, our heads are just fine...

We lost our son, and that won't ever be okay.


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