The Ripple Effect

It has been six months since Max took his last breath.  I actually believe that his little spirit had left his body long before, perhaps even at daycare two days previous.  But, we held on, believing he would be a miracle baby.  Sadly, though he will always be a miracle in our eyes, he did not make the  recovery that we longed for.  We disconnected him from life support just after 5 pm on July 21st.  I kissed him and hugged him tightly and told him how much I loved him.  Teddy picked him up to hug him and wrapped his arms around him.  I will never forget how terrible it felt to get into our car and drive away from the hospital with an empty carseat having just left our baby with strangers.  I will never forget waking up in the middle of the night that night in horror and laying down on his play mat in our room and feeling the breath come and go so deeply from my lungs, my soul feeling crushed by the weight of my sorrow.  I will never forget it because I still feel the same sense of horror every single day at some point or another or often, all day long.  For some reason, I thought I remembered our grief counselor saying that grief would get easier at the six months mark.  In most ways itt has gotten harder.  When I asked her about it, she said, "No, I said six months is usually the worst.  The people around you get compassion fatigue.  Life continues like nothing happened, and you are just as broken as you were when the death occurred".  And, that is with uncomplicated grief (aka - your mother, father, grandparent, age appropriate friend) dies.  With complicated grief it is even worse.  This explains the return of my early feelings of complete despair.  That I survived this week, particularly Monday and Friday, is nothing short of a miracle.  I know I sound dramatic but if you had spent even one minute in my head on either of those days, you would understand. Ted and I have talked a lot about the ripple effect of this loss - at the center is the agony of losing the person we love most...but then comes our being so misunderstood, our loss of connectedness with close friends and family, our difficulties concentrating at work or in life, our worry about the future, our profound disappointment.  Again, though, that stuff is all the heart is really Max.  Without Max, life is HARD.  Quite honestly, without Max, life doesn't really feel worth living.....we just keep doing it, hoping that eventually down the road, something will lift the cloud...even a little bit.  We pray it will happen one day, but for now we realize that it has ONLY been six months.

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