Thursday, January 4, 2024

12 Days...

I don't know that I'll be sharing this as much on my personal Facebook timeline. I'll always share it on Aaron's page, but that's because it's his. I don't know that everyone wants to be hit with my grief as often as I feel the need to write. But as always, you're welcome to join me if you'd like. Honestly, the comments and reactions have been healing for me. I think one of my biggest fears is that he will be forgotten. Seeing his impact on others helps mitigate the pain. 

How has it been almost two weeks? 

Tomorrow night it will have been two weeks since I last saw your eyes open, your smile, you waving your arm. 

How can it be so long, and yet, feel like it just barely happened?

I went back to work yesterday, and again today.  And it was hard. I mean, how does the world just keep moving on? Clients ask how Christmas was, and I just say it was "good, peaceful." It was. It was actually too peaceful. Too quiet. And the day goes "okay" but exhausting. It's hard listening and helping them process but I think I'm managing. 

And then I leave to come home. Frankly, yesterday I really didn't want to, and today was rough, too. In the past I've always been watching the clock, making sure that I was aware of the time and if I couldn't get notes or things done, I've left and just done them at home. But now, now there's no hurry, not really. Maybe there should be. William and Michael are also important, but they are also fairly self-sufficient. There's no one to sign out. No meds to give. 

I'm actually really glad I've got three days of online training starting tomorrow. If I don't leave the house, I won't need to come back home. 

Your room is starting to look a little empty. I've moved out most of the medical equipment, including your wheelchair and that hated lift. Maybe "hated" is too strong a word. Maybe "ignored" is better. After all, it pretty much sat in the corner, just taking up space and being used to hang blankets on. 

I'm slowly going through the process of setting things aside. I began with all your medical supplies. I was angry, angry that all the "things" I had accumulated that were supposed to keep you here had failed. Angry that they still were in my home, and you were not. I moved on with your rented equipment because somehow insurance didn't seem to think they needed to keep paying for machines that weren't being used anymore. And now I'm mostly setting aside the rest of your things: your blankets, clothes, and so on. Those aren't going anywhere yet. I don't know if they will. I'd love to make them into stuffed animals or something to hold close, but that's a job for another time. 

Oh, my love... How can you be gone? 

Today I had a long talk with the attending who was on when you passed. It was good, healing, therapeutic. You had an amazing team that took care of you, that loved you, and your passing has influenced them as well. She asked how I was doing and I said, "good, okay, mostly." I only break down a few times a day right now, but that might be because I'm staying busy. 

Yesterday I pulled my hospital parent badge out of my backpack. It's one of those things that smacks you upside the head. It's always just "been there," waiting for the next time it was needed. I reached in for something and caught the lanyard by accident, and realized I will never use it again. I will never be a parent at Primary's, ever again. I don't need to carry it "just in case." 

Aaron, I miss you. I know you're whole and free, but I hope you miss me, too. Is that selfish? Maybe, but it's true.  You brought out the best in me, and now I'm struggling to figure out how to go on. 

I still have the sign I made that says, "Breathe." How do you breathe when every breath hurts?

"When one person is missing the whole world seems empty."— Pat Schweibert

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