We’ll see how tomorrow goes.
“Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion to death.”– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I read an article about loss that talked about grieving with gratitude. To find “one little thing” each day to be thankful for. I have actually tried to do this since Kellan died and some days are harder than others. Today I have so much to be thankful for.
On the day I found out Kellan no longer had a heartbeat, it was going to be a busy day. I remember thinking I hoped the appointment didn’t last too long, so I could get on the road for work. Looking back now, I wish I could smack the ignorance out of myself.
I hoped we would finally get a good profile picture of him during the ultrasound. We needed it. Scott & I sat in the waiting room talking about dinner, and if we should grill for the Fourth of July. I would stop by the store later to get stuff, and hopefully it wouldn’t be too crazy. My dad was working on the roof of Kohl’s that day on an A/C unit, and my mom was at the other hospital in town.
Why was she at the hospital? Because my mom, my best friend and the woman I look to for everything, was getting a biopsy that day. She had an abnormal mammogram, and they needed to explore further. I told her not to be scared, because we were going to see Kellan that day. I’d make sure they got good pictures of him for her. Everything would be okay.
And then everything was not okay. Our entire lives were turned upside down during my ultrasound. From the labor and delivery room, Scott called my dad and his mom in New York. I called my mom nonstop trying to reach her, knowing she was about to go into her biopsy. She didn’t answer, so I had to call the hospital to try and find her. When I finally did, my heart broke all over again as I told her Kellan was gone. She was distraught. They cancelled her biopsy and she came to me immediately.
When they finally rescheduled her appointment, it was a few weeks later. I was terrified. I had already lost my son. “Please God, please,” I would cry. “I am begging You, don’t put my family through this too. My heart cannot survive this.” I told my mom I wasn’t scared, I knew she would be okay. I was lying. I have never been more scared in entire my life.
I cannot and will not imagine a world without my parents. A world without my son is already painful enough.
Five long days later, we finally got the results that the biopsy sample was benign, but the cells around it were what they called “risky”. I was thankful, but still fearful. We made a plan to completely remove them with surgery and test them further through pathology. If they came back cancerous, we would make another plan for preventative care. Radiation or possibly other meds. It seemed so simple and routine, but I was absolutely terrified.
Mom’s surgery was exactly 5 weeks from the day we learned Kellan’s heart had stopped. It’s insane and cruel how life can be flipped upside down so much in just 5 weeks. I sent Mom into the operating room with a heart keepsake and stuffed bear that Kellan had with him for his hospital photos. I knew it would make her feel at ease, and I needed that for her. She did great.
Today we got the results back from the cells the surgeon removed. My brave and courageous mom has no cancer. I am so unbelievably thankful. Through all that’s happened to us in the last 5 weeks, this extreme blessing was needed. In my grief, I still have so much gratitude. I am so thankful.
It’s amazing what we can make it through as humans. Our bodies and minds can be handed such horrific traumas, yet they can still fight. They can still move forward. They can still be thankful.
So much weight was lifted off of me today. I felt such relief, such happiness, such joy. And then I felt guilt. It was incredibly painful guilt. How could I be this happy when my son is dead? It’s too soon to feel this kind of happiness, isn’t it? But it’s not.
There are no rules to grief. It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to have happiness. And it’s okay to feel guilt. It’s okay to have good days, and recognize that there will be bad days as well.
Throughout the rollercoaster of emotions, I can still miss Kellan, and long for him. I know that I will never stop feeling that, I will just feel it differently some days. It’s all part of the grief process, and I just have to live it.
So for the rest of today, I will be happy and thankful. I will wake up tomorrow with my eyes open, looking for my “one little thing”. One day at a time, I will continue to face my grief head on. Today was a wonderful day. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.