An audio-visual slideshow attacks me throughout the day, every day.

My phone lighting up in my purse

Hysterical noise: "Max stopped breathing"

It can't be

A tall chaplain with bad breath putting his arm around me in the ER

"Why won't they let me see my baby?!!!!!"


Sad looks from strangers

A paramedic flirting with a nurse, "This is the hardest call I've ever been on", with a coy smile

Crying, grateful, to the ER doctor who gets Max's heartbeat back - "Thank you for saving my baby!"

"Something is foreboding", says the ambulance driver.

Exchanged looks between Ted and I - in the ER, in the car, in the PICU - no need for words


"You may want to call your family so that they can say goodbye"

Buying a toothbrush and toothpaste at the supermarket

Ted playing music in bed with Max, begging him "Don't leave us Buddy"


A family meeting to discuss timing - of pulling life support, of autopsy, of funeral and shiva

How can this be?!!!

My father breaking down

My insides being ripped out

Waiting for rabbis

One rabbi says a prayer for our family

Another rabbi helps us say goodbye to our little boy

Holding him, hugging him, kissing him, telling him we love him

Saying goodbye to the most important, most beloved person in our lives

Driving home with an empty car seat

Drinking to excess

Awaking in the middle of the night and lying on his playmat

Begging for this to be only a nightmare

I have died too.  Why aren't I dead instead of you?  I am dead now too


Susan Ireland said...

Yes, I have it too. I remember the praying part and these bits too:

Saying goodbye to the most important, most beloved person in our lives

Driving home with an empty car seat

Drinking to excess

Begging for this to be only a nightmare

I have died too. Why aren't I dead instead of you? I am dead now too

I remember her videos were strewn on the back seat - we'd gone to the hospital together, as a non-urgent referral, and we expected to be sent home together with a script for Anitbiotics or something. Instead she died, and we were leaving alone. It was inconceivable. I went home and drank 2 bottles of red wine. i don't remember, but apparently I then threw up on the bedroom carpet. For weeks, my husband kept rubbing the stain out - he couldn't bear to see it.

I don't pray any more. I stopped going to church. It upsets me when other people pray too. Thinking about, I think the trauma of Catherine's death is the reason why. I hate it when people say they are praying for stupid stuff.

I'm so sorry.

guest said...

send you hugs from a stranger. i am so sorry such a terrible thing happened to you. so, so sorry. what a beautiful boy he was.

Sonia said...

Abby, I am so sorry you are living this nightmare. I wish your Maxie was alive and with you, it is so unfair. Thinking of you, Sonia x

Egreeno said...

Such horrible, haunting images and sounds. Heart crushing, gut wrenching, the worst, most horrific nightmare come to life. But I know reading this only gives us a tiny inkling of what you and Ted had to go through and continue to have to deal with everyday. I am eternally sorry that Maxie is gone. I know there is nothing I can do or say to help take the pain and sorrow away. I can only tell you how much I love you and say that I am so grateful that you are willing to share this with us. I am grateful you are letting us know what this life is like for you right now. I’m certain that no words can ever adequately describe the grief you know but you have found a powerful way to share some of the impact of such horrific loss. Sending you all my love, E

Jodi said...

Hi Abby, it's Jodi Barry. Just wanted you to know that I think of you, Ted, Max and your little one on the way every day. It's a ridiculously unfair disaster that Max was taken from you and robbed of the life he should have shared with you and the world. Sending love your way all the time. I know we're far away, but if there was ever anything we could do to help in any small way, we always would.

Tiffany said...

i always have flashbacks. i still can't believe it happened. but i have his pics all over. and i know he's not here. so it must have happened.

i wonder why it wasn't me either. this week at work has been really hard. and it always exascerbates my grief. i found myself wishing i was gone too.

Abby Leviss said...

I am so sorry tiffany. Going back to work must be somewhat hellish. Julius WAS here! And he had a big beautiful and funny smile- like Max. XOXO- Abby

Allisonkovac said...

Sniff, sniff...this is heart-wrenching. I am so sorry.

Lindsay said...

One of the most heartbreaking posts....I love you.

jkbrumbaugh@gmail.com said...

Ohhh Abby I go through this almost every single day: I have to drive home in the direction to the hospital and I shrink. I also thank the ambulance paramedics for getting a heart beat again. Meeting with the ER doctor telling us he has to go to the ICU we dont know how long ago he stop breathing? it was just a 1 hour and half nap I walked away he was fine. I must have said that a million times. After 4 hours in the ICU without seeing our baby. The ICU doctor came in and said "Im so sorry he is in life support- He is not going home". My husband dropping to the floor, I kept saying you got to do something...... We fought and try for the next 36 hours until we let him go.. I must say ST. Peters hospital in NJ has an amazing staff we could see them in pain with us and a genuine compassion. There was a ICU doctor head of department that took our case and he said I let my son go.... Up to this day is a question-mark to us..... My pediatric is Jewish and one of the best- he showing up and giving us a hugg with Jayden's file in hand- Saying Im sorry a million times. Im sorry my friend that we have to go through this. Sometimes I wish memories did not exist but then I wouldnt have the memories of the best 6 weeks of my life- Jayden made my life complete. But I do still have faith, and I know that we will see our babies again. God did promised a resurrection and Im going to wait for it. I have question God even with my extensive religious study .......yes... But what many people dont know its that in every religious book characters question GOD and he understood we are human. Maxie was so adorable and one day he will be here with us. We think of you and your husband often.

Tallie Fishburne said...

Abby, these are wretched awful images for you to experience and yet, I can only imagine that the image of them replaying feels just a fraction of the gut-wrenching pain of the original. I am so very sorry that this is your daily reel and that you are forced to learn to live a new life without Max in it. I wish Max were here and we didn't have your blog (as honest and true as it is). Sending you, Ted, Baby M and our sweetest Maxie lots of love.