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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Grief and flashbacks

How do you go to bed the night before your child will die? Is he cold? How do you brush and floss? Is he in pain? How many sleeping pills do you take? Does he know that he’s dying? How many minutes beforehand do you take them? Is he scared? Do you look at Facebook before you begin all of this or do you wait until you’re closer to turning off the light? Does he know that you went home? Do you send a message to tell people that your son is actually still alive even though someone has posted that he has died? Does he know you're coming back? In that email, do you tell them that while he is still alive, he probably won’t be this time tomorrow? Does he know the surgery failed? How do you undress and climb onto the cold mattress? Does he have brain damage? How do you sink your head into the pillow and pull the blankets over? Is he angry? How many minutes will it take before the sleeping pills paralyze the limbs so that the shaking stops? Has he heard you screaming? How many more before they punch you into blackness to make the hours pass? Does your screaming scare him? When the alarm knocks the blackness aside, how many seconds will it take before nothingness is replaced with knowing your child will die today? Was it wrong to let the kids see him? How do you push the blankets back? Does he feel trapped? How do you lift your head from the pillow? Has he wanted to die? How do you raise your body from the mattress warmed from the hours of nothingness? Does he blame you? Do you see if anyone has responded to the email that you sent last night? How much is he aware of? Do you do that now or do you wait until you’re ready to turn the light on? Did you ask the right questions? How many minutes before you take the Ativan? Did you choose the wrong hospital? How many anxiety pills do you take? Did you choose the wrong surgeon? As you wonder how many to take, will you also calculate when you’ll be able to take the next dose? How did you let this happen? How long will you stand in the shower before you remember to wash? What should you have done differently? How will you comb out the knots and style your hair? Does he know that he will die today? How will you decide which skirt to wear? Which blouse to wear? Which boots to wear? Did someone make a mistake? Will you brush? Will you eat? How will you walk out the door and get into the car? Will he be relieved? Will you notice all of the other cars rushing to work or to school? Does he know that you want to die and be with him? Will you need to lean on your husband as you walk toward the hospital and into the room where the machines that have been keeping him alive will be turned off? Does he forgive you? Will you recognize the sounds coming from your body? Does he know that you love him? When the machines are quiet, how will you walk away? Does he know that you will always love him?

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