It has been seven weeks since John passed. Seven weeks that feel more like ten years. Only seven weeks. In that short amount of time so much has happened, and so much has changed.
It has only been seven weeks since I held John last, but it feels like I never got the chance to hold him at all.
It scares me to realize just how quickly we moved on. Not in the sense that we have left our baby behind, but more like we just went on with life. Almost as if he had never been here. And it happened so quickly. I think about him constantly, I know we all do. But it is like he is this little shadow in the past. Was here, but never really here. I don't know how to put into words the feeling I have when I think about him being gone.
But there is this other feeling I can't shake. This feeling like every day we don't have him, is one day further away from his existence. I know he was real. I know he existed. I bear the pain of his loss. I held his squishy little body in my arms. Kissed his sweet face every chance I got. But there are times that it seems like he wasn't real almost. I just can't put it into words. Maybe if anyone reading this has experienced this kind of loss, they know what I am trying to say.
It's like a really bad dream, only it is real life. Our very real nightmare.
Having these feelings makes me incredibly sad. These aren't the terms in which I want to think of John, just the anxieties I carry now that he is gone. Along with about a million others. Like did he know we were there that day? He was already brain dead by the time I got to see him again, so the realist in me knows he wasn't aware of his surroundings, but the ever hopeful loving Aunt in me believes he knows we were there. That he knows we were loving on him in the flesh while we could and catching the pieces of our broken hearts that were falling with every little touch, every little kiss.
It eats at me that the very last time we got to hold and love on such an incredible little guy...he was gone. I wanted to hold him forever. I want him in my arms now. The trauma of our loss rears its ugly head more often than we care to admit.
We had to take Mom to Shands for a biopsy today. Shands was the last place we held John. Shands is where he technically passed away, but he was gone long before he made it there. Sitting here now makes my heart race and feel like the million shards it broke into are being shot across my chest. The trauma. That's what I'm talking about. The recognized symptoms that our bodies are dealing with trauma, maybe not from physical pain, but from spiritual.
The staff here are still amazing. I will never be able to put into words how fortunate we were to have these people here for our baby when he needed them most. We take peace in knowing that even though there was nothing they could have done, they absolutely did everything they could to save him. They held our hands, held us, answered any questions, and made one of the most difficult days of our lives...easier. It takes a special kind of loving heart to work PICU. Not because they lose babies, but because they have to deal with those that are suffering the greatest loss any person can ever experience. Special hearts.
Truly special hearts.