Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Well, here goes (might upset some)

Before reading further, understand that some of the language and thoughts expressed here may (probably will) upset you. Don't read any farther if you can't handle the cursing or realities of death. You have been warned. And it's possible (ok, probable) that this will be rambling and disjointed because I'm sobbing right now and can't think straight.
Yeah, this week has sucked. Thursday is Drew's 1 year birthday. I can't help thinking of E.'s 1 year b-day and what she was doing at a year. Drew should be doing that, not lying buried in the ground.

Because let's face it, that's what's happened. His body is in a box under at least 4 feet of earth (only have to bury 4 feet deep in OK, fact courtesy of FIL! I don't know if Drew's 4 or 6 feet down and it doesn't really matter I suppose.) with a slab of granite the only thing marking the placement of his body. You think I don't think of the rate of decay of a body and compare it to Drew?! As my mother has told me many times, I know too much about some things for my own good. I knew too much about the embalming process too. I had a hard time with that at the funeral home. I knew what the markings on the body meant. Just shit that passes through my mind on a near daily basis--I should have a lively healthy son however the decay overtaking his body is what I'm left with. Maybe we should have opted for cremation. That wouldn't have made anything easier though because that's ANOTHER subject that I know too much about. (I've learned in the past year that curiousity is not always a good thing; my knowledge comes from years of curiousity dating back long before Drew.)

Talk about sucking.

I know that I'm not alone in these thoughts, many parents have them about their deceased children. So all of you who have not lost anyone close to you who think that I'm completely insane, no need to worry. I'm only partially insane but at least I'm not alone. It's not something that I go around talking about and I don't like to admit to having these thoughts but there they are. Finally out in the open.

Happy fucking birthday, Drew.

It still feels like someone is ripping my heart out of my chest and stomping on it, crushing it on a daily basis. The pain has gotten more intense, not lessened.
Still haven't been able to get him flowers yet. I MUST do it tomorrow. I can already tell you what kind I'll end up getting: blue hydrangea. E. doesn't get to pick them out this time. Those were what we had on his casket and they remind me of him. They were the first flowers that I saw when we walked into the flower shop to order his funeral flowers and I immediately knew they would be used.
Poor E. knows more about death than most people learn in a lifetime. The death of a pet might drive some kids over the edge. Not E. She matter of factly says, "The fish died. Ruby (horse) died," and go about her business. In her eyes, Drew has pets now. But she GETS it. You talk with her and you'll know that she understands that death is permenant, the heart stops beating for whatever reason, etc. I know I've said it in the past but it pisses me off so much that my 3.5 year old daughter knows this shit. I want to protect her from this stuff and I can't. Death is a big part of her life, moreso than for most kids. Gah, it's just not fair for her either.

She sees Mommy crying a lot and just automatically knows that it's because, "You miss your Baby Drew. You don't have to cry, Mommy." I don't know what I would do without her. She hugs me and kisses my tears away. She's my lifesaver and she makes me laugh and smile on a daily basis. I hope that I'm not doing her a disservice by being so open with her about Drew and how it makes me feel. It's so hard to find a balance but I'm not going to lie to her.
This last year has also shown me something about myself that I don't like. I have to face the fact that I'm an extremely jealous person. I don't think that I've ever been particularly jealous before now. I had my periods of envy as do most people but not like this.

I would never, ever, ever, ever wish anything bad on anyone. But damnit, I get jealous when others have healthy kids or sick kids who survive their illness. This is not said to make anyone feel badly and I fear that it will. Please don't. I don't know how to explain that I can be so happy for others that their kids are ok and insanely jealous at the same time. Drew was doing so fucking well and within a short period of time, he completely turned around. Why couldn't he have just kept getting better?? That's why I'm jealous.

I also get so bitter at times. People do harmful drugs and stupid shit while pregnant and their kids are ok. Mine wasn't and I gave up just about everything you could give up when PG with him. And he fucking died. People beat the shit out of their kids, kill them, emotionally abuse them, etc. And Drew died.

Yes, any kind of abuse of children has always outraged me but the deep bitterness (no other word for it) that I feel now is something that has developed over the last year. These people do not deserve healthy children and yet they have them. I am passing judgement, something that I consciously try not to do but I don't care in these situations. It's just not right. /end toddler tantrum

So yes, I am an extremely bitter and jealous person thanks to what happened to Drew.
But along with that bitterness, jealousy and anger comes some good. I'm a much more caring and compassionate person now than I ever was in the past. When I say that I care, I DO. I care with every fiber of my being now, it's not just lip service.

My faith in the inherent goodness of people and society at large has been restored. Well, restored isn't really the right word since I never really felt that way. I was always suspicious and untrusting.

No longer. Ninety-nine percent of those of us are good people. I have never been shown the kindness and compassion in my life as I have this past year. People care and they want to help. People are GOOD. My skepticism is gone.

I have withdrawn over the last year, especially in the last few months. Much of that is because I've just been overwhelmed with the kindness people are showing me. "What have I done to deserve it?" is what I keep asking myself. Combine that with this pregnancy and I have just wanted to be left alone. That's me, that's who I am. I withdraw and run from situations that I'm not comfortable with. I think that I may be getting back on track, though. We'll see.
Jenn and her family sent us a gift for Carson. They are the Miller family, Audrey's family (CDH survivor). Although she was worried about the timing, it arrived yesterday but was not expected for a while longer, it worked out perfectly in my mind.

They sent a book called The Angel With the Golden Glow: A family's journey through loss & healing by Elissa Al-Chokhachy. The story is so beautiful and inspiring and I sobbed as I read it. (Then tried to talk to my neighbor and started crying. I'm sure they think I'm a nutcase now even though they know about Drew and this week being his b-day. A lot of my self-consciousness has disappeared this year too.)

It is about an angel being sent to a family knowing he wouldn't be there long. He left his best angel friend in Heaven when he went down to earth. After he died, his angel friend finds out that he is being sent to the very same family that angel #1 left. I know I'm not making much sense, here's a passage:

"As The Angel with the Golden Glow finished telling his last story, his friend said, "I missed you so much. Yet our time together in heaven will be short. I have the most amazing news! God has chosen me to be born into the same family. There is still much healin that needs to be done. Just think! We will be earthly brothers as well as heavenly brothers. This is surely the greatest honor of my life!"

It's the perfect book, at the perfect time, for the perfect babies (Drew and Carson). Yes, I like to think of The Angel with the Golden Glow as Drew and The Angel with the Tender Heart as Carson. I truly believe that their souls know one another and that Carson is being sent to us to help in a myriad of ways.

You know that I struggle with how to raise Carson. I don't want him to live in the shadow of Drew, thinking that he's a "replacement" child. It's a very big concern of mine. This book will help me explain things to Carson when he's old enough to understand. I can't describe how touched I am by this caring gift and the message of this book. It's as though it were written specifically for our family. Millers, thank you so much.
Ok, so E. is begging me to stop crying and lay down with her. How can you resist that offer?! I can't; I sleep horribly when she's not scootched up next to me. So I'll go after I add these sage words from a great (well, prolific anyway) author, depending on your reading habits.

Yes, it's Stephen King. :D I'm reading "Lisey's Story" and came across a line that struck me. Not because of any truth in it, per se, I just don't know why it stuck out to me but here it is:

"There was a lot they didn't tell you about death, she had discovered, and one of the biggies was how long it took the ones you loved most to die in your heart." (p. 332)

Maybe it stuck out because I don't think that your loved ones ever die in your heart but there IS a lot that no one tells you about death. Anyway, I'm off to cuddle with the Bug.


Anonymous said...

((((((((((hugs to you)))))))))

It's okay to feel how you feel.

From a stranger who is praying for you. - Amy

carole said...

I have been thinking of you so much these past weeks. Know that you are not alone in these thoughts. I have them too and sometimes felt as if I were insane. I probably am...but not about that. I *love* the quote from that book. I got goosebumps just reading it. Carson is the angel with the tender heart.

I don't really have any words of wisdom...but I am thinking of you.

Christina (chiplusone) said...


Anonymous said...

Big hugs,prayers and support for you and your whole family for the 8th Jana. We will never forget Drew.

Hugs from Nat, Jorden and Callum

Anonymous said...

It does not matter what others think. You have a right to your feelings. Drew touched so many hearts and was so very loved in his short time here. Carson wil feel this love and you will be a great mother. I am thinking of you and will be praying for you daily but especially tomorrow. Hugs sweetie.

The Lavato Family said...

Jana you have been constantly on my mind the past few weeks as well. My heart continues to ache for you and Drew. You have been so amazing this year and I know that you will continue to grow stronger every day. Happy Birthday sweet Drew...we miss you!

Julie said...

Get it all out babe. It is okay to have your feelings.

Anonymous said...

Jana, I have been thinking about you and Drew and I'm still just so truly sorry that you have had to go through this. And I think you have the right to feel all of those things. You probably don't remember me, but I was on SK on the March board. Your family is in my thoughts and I am really hoping you can have the birth experience you want and a happy and healthy little baby this time around!
Lots of love to you,
Jen (jengraycat)

Shawn C said...

All I can offer is a big warm hug. Happy Birthday Drew.