Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Weeks Later

rainbow-sunset-beach-wallpaper-1024x768NOTE:  I original wrote this two weeks ago, but didn't feel like posting it at the time.  I do that from time to time.  Sometimes I end up posting things after a few days to brew, and sometimes I never end up posting it.  This one brewed for a couple weeks.

I can’t believe that it’s been (almost) two weeks since Isabella died.  Part of me thinks that I’m going to wake up at any minute and realize this has all been a bad dream.  But the rational side of me knows it’s all too true.

It’s been pretty tough trying to adjust to this new chapter in our life.  I still walk by her bed and expect to see her laying there, and I just want to walk over and run my fingers through her hair just one more time.  When we were preparing the seats for the cemetery, I realized that we would only need four seats instead of the five that I am so accustomed to.  Today, I was answering a survey over the phone and when they asked how many dependents I had, I had to stop and think and change my answer mid-stream (then try to compose myself to finish the survey).  I also had to fill out the forms to close out her college education funds which we’ve been contributing to since she was born.  It makes me sad that her true brilliance will never be known to us.

Also today, the hospice company came over and picked up all the medical equipment from our house.  Although it’s nice that our house no longer looks like a wing of the hospital, it feels like we’re slowly just trying to forget or erase Isabella from our memory.  But of course that couldn’t be further from the truth, but that’s how it feels.  That’s why I felt bad taking Isabella’s car seats out of the cars, or taking her wheelchair out of the car for the last time and storing it away.  We won’t need those again.

When we visit Isabella’s grave, I still can’t believe that our little girl is in a box just a few feet below my own feet.  Alone.  In darkness.  Forever.  If I could, I’d dig up her casket right there just to give her another hug.  Just to tell her how sorry I am that she had to go through so much pain and suffering.  Pain and suffering that she didn’t deserve.

I think the worst part is the guilt I feel.  It’s not the typical survivor’s guilt, although there is some of that.  The guilt I feel is because a part of me is relieved.  Relieved that not only is Isabella no longer suffering, but relieved that we no longer have to deal with a sick child.  Now admittedly, Julianne carried the large portion of the burden of caring for Isabella, but there was still such a huge emotional and physical strain and stress of having a dying child.  But now that strain and stress are gone, and I am relieved.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’d trade it all back in a second and deal with the stress if Isabella could still be alive.  But I still feel guilty for feeling relieved, because shouldn’t I be mourning?  Shouldn’t I be more sad?

I know it’s only been two weeks and there’s a lot of time and a lot of emotions and a lot of healing left.  But I do feel that we have an advantage because we’ve had plenty of time, almost four years, to prepare for Isabella’s death.  As I mentioned at her funeral mass, practically every day since Isabella was diagnosed, I would think about her eulogy and what I would say, but still hoping that I would never need it.  We were able to be with Isabella when she died and said goodbye on our terms, in our house.  I can’t imagine what it is like for those parents who’ve had to bury their children after a sudden and tragic death, without having that closure.

I know that it’s supposed to get better over time, but a part of me doesn’t want to let go, doesn’t want to forget the pain and hurt because when that happens, a little bit of Isabella will also disappear.

Thanks for reading.