October 25, 2009

Isn’t there anything we can do . . . ?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:09 am by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

At some point during C’s restless sleep last night, she ended up in bed with me (not unlike every other night, mind you).  Once there she slept much better and woke up initially rather cheerful.  I was still half asleep, pleased that she seemed content to cheerfully chirp away beside me for a bit before getting out of bed.  I wasn’t paying much attention to what she was ‘talking’ about initially – until her tone changed.  Then I was awake.  I think she had been playing with her locket and had been saying ‘Daddy’, among other things.  Then, the happy tone changed and she began crying for you.  She just kept repeating ‘Daddy, daddy, daddy’ as she cried.  She wanted you.  Then she asked to nurse for the first time in about a week (and right after I rebooked my tattoo appointment), but she was just upset overall and didn’t persist with the request as I tried to find other ways calm her down. What can I do?  She misses you too, but it’s not like I can help her understand why you’re not here.
In some ways it’s easier that E understands it – but sometimes I wish she didn’t.  It’s unfortunate that a 4yr old has to lose some of that magical thinking they are gifted with at this age (right after you died, she believed that if she brought her magic wand, or anything else ‘really special to the viewing, it would bring you back to life).  Who knows if it’s better to understand or not?  But for the most part she seems to understand the permanence of the situation all too well.  The other day while brushing our teeth before bed she told me she had an idea.  She wanted to ‘play a secret’ on Sian (secrets seem to be a new thing for her now, and I guess she doesn’t get the concept completely just yet…).  She told me that we should pretend that you didn’t die.  Now there’s a slippery slope.  How do you balance allowing your child to have a playful imagination, yet in a serious situation such as this, not let it get out of hand where it could be unhealthy for them?  She seemed excited about the idea and I didn’t want to squash her sense of fun in it, so I asked her how she thought it would work since Sian already knew that Daddy had died.  She said we could just pretend for fun, but she didn’t pursue it any further.  She was feeling a bit sad tonight as we went to bed. She told me how much she misses you lying with her to put her to sleep.  Then she asked me if I was sure, ‘Isn’t there anything we can do to bring Daddy back?’  What I wouldn’t do to bring you back . . . .  I’m always glad when she opens up to talk to me about it, yet it’s hard when she does.  I don’t want to have to tell her the true answer to that.  But I do.

Thursday was a tough day (though I did get a chance to ichat with Anthony and Kayla for a bit in the morning).  The six month anniversary of your death hit harder than many of the others.  I’m glad it was a slower day for work because I was pretty distracted and just had to take everything a little slower myself.  Buz and Sian had us over in the after I finished work and we stayed for dinner.  At one point E climbed up on Buz’s lap to test out his chair hydraulics.  She looked so happy and leaned back on him at one point, with her head on his chest.  They looked so sweet – and though it made me miss you, being able to see you with her like that – I felt some comfort to be reminded that she still has regular, positive, adult male influences in her life.  Buz is involved in helping look after the girls all day Monday, and we spend a lot of time with them otherwise, so it’s nice to know that the girls are getting at least a bit of a balance.

Friday was a busy day; I had to work in lieu of my day off Tuesday, but first I went to the doctor to have the ‘vascular lesion’ removed from my forehead.  I’ve had it since I was a kid and it never really bothered me, but it seems like since my pregnancy with C and all the stress of losing you perhaps, it grew slightly.  The doctor said they do tend to grow with age, but it’s not even remotely related to a mole or anything cancerous so it’s nothing to worry about.  When he removed it he said they always send everything to get checked anyhow, but he was 100% certain it was benign.  I firmly believe, based on the information I’ve read, that this is true – but I told him, ‘No offence, but that word doesn’t mean much to my family any more’.  C had music so my mom took the girls, and I went to the clinic on my own.  I missed having you there to hold my hand and make annoying jokes to ease the tension I feel about things like that.  I would have even taken a repeat of when I had my last mole removed and you insisted on watching (because you liked watching operation shows), only to make gagging sounds like you were about to puke, and have to sit down, letting go of my hand you were supposed to be holding.  Still, as I was lying there wishing you were with me, I realized that this was nothing compared to what you endured over the years.  You were on chemo for over 8 months and never missed a day of work.  Five weeks of radiation and it was the same.  You even went to work the day you had the seizure at 2am, only to have them send you home after hearing what happened.  The only reason you stopped working was to give the naturopathic treatment a solid try, and that we just couldn’t do while you worked because of the travel.  Oh yeah, you also had two brain surgeries.  Yes.  If you could do that, I could take three stitches in my forehead on my own.

It wasn’t too bad, but we had a bit of a laugh as later in the day I was sitting with Buz and Sian in their van with C and Dylan while we were waiting for E and Brandon to finish acro class (it was pouring rain and the waiting room ispretty small).  I was sitting in the passenger seat and turned to look behind me and managed to bash my stitches on the knob that changes the height of the seatbelt.  It hurt, but I didn’t notice anything else.  A moment later, however, I put my hand up to the bandaid and there was quite a bit of blood.  I looked in the mirror on the visor and sure enough I had a good stream of blood running right down my face and neck.  After a quick clean and patch job with a new bandaid, all was fine.  It’s still a bit sore, mainly because C keeps knocking it somehow, but it’s not so bad.

The season is definitely changing.  Fall was typically one of my favourite seasons, with the changing of the colours – and though I will always appreciate it still, it’s just another sign of how long you’ve been gone.  The dull grey fog that also comes with this season seems to sum things up pretty well.

As I go, here are a few more photos from past days, including the ‘low man on the totem pole’, the lovely Cali.  I feel for her too.  I’m sure she misses you, and I know she doesn’t get the play and attention she used to either (unless you consider me yelling at her to stop barking attention…).  I often pass her food dishes while I’m mid-task, and try to tell myself to remember to fill those up when I’m done.  This will happen a few times throughout the day before I finally remember to do it.  I know she’s not starving/thirsty as if it ever gets to that point she’ll just stand and lick her empty dishes incessantly until I do something about it – she’ll never let me forget – but I still feel badly for her.  She drives me crazy in many ways, I’m tired of poop scooping, and I’m worried about her getting older, but I love her – she keeps me company at night and I’m glad she’s around.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Debbie said,

    Hi Chelsea,

    I had a restless 13 year old crawl into bed with me last night at 1:30am. He couldn’t sleep and was thinking about his Dad. Grief is hard enough to deal with in our own hearts and minds and yet we must also guide our children through their own individual heartbreak. IT’S NOT FAIR! But it is real, so we will do it. We will make it through. And our connections in cyberspace will hopefully help guide us and support us.

    I hope you all have a peaceful, fall day. It’s sunny here in Saskatchewan, but I wish I was at the foggy, rainy coast. Just thinking about your weather and imagining the smell in the air makes me feel closer to Austin (besides the sailboat, we used to live on the northwest coast). Oh crap, maybe I need to move 🙂

    Sending you hugs and understanding from the prairies,


  2. Debbie said,

    P.S. Your girls are so cute! Thanks for sharing the pictures! You’ve inspired me to take some new picts of my kids. The camera hasn’t had much use since Austin died and I tend to post picts with him in them but as I mentioned to you on my blog, they are changing so much and I really should get back to documenting their life in photos. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. brenda said,

    Reading this story about your kids missing their dad brought the tears. I haven’t gone for counseling. Perhaps I should go to a widows group here. My grief comes in waves. Today was one of those surprise waves that slap you in the face when you turn around. My 16 year old chose to avoid the home and her Daddy while he was ill. It hurt them both. My 13 year old was grieved and stayed with his Daddy as much as he could. He was going to miss all those things a boy did with his dad. When Randy died, Matthew was in the next room. Morgan was in another town and I had to go get her. Randy had 2 daughters from a previous marriage. The eldest stayed beside him until he died and the other, like Morgan avoided seeing the sickness until the night before he died.

    I am in the process of moving. I am broke this month but somehow, we will make it through. I have tried to move ahead and am doing well except for every now and then. We built this house but I find it hard to live here and move on. I’ve started school but the bills and probably going to make me lose my internet. Looks like I’ll be going to coffee shops soon.

    Glad you have this blog.

  4. Roads said,

    That’s such a heart-breaking question to answer, and honestly, I asked it myself (as I’m sure you have, too) so many times.

    Learning to accept the unacceptable. It’s a big ask for an adult, let alone for a child. Spirits up.

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