An unwelcome reminder
Tears fall from my face often these days.
Out of the blue they appear, drifting slowly down my face.
Most times I let them fall.
Sometimes, I blink quickly to force them away.
I am still here, writing, praying, coping-barely.
Ryley has been sick this week and it has rocked me to the core.
I didn't expect such a strong reaction, especially as this is something we have faced many times in the past 12 years.
It was the words "I have checked for internal bleeding and I can't seem to find any, that doesn't mean there isn't any, just that I can't see it. If he keeps coughing up blood, present at the emergency department and ask them to page me" that instantly made me want to throw up.
My brother bled internally in the final days of his time on earth.
In that moment when I heard those words from Ryley's paediatrician, a shiver went down my spine. I hardly heard the words the doctor spoke after that. It was like I was frozen in time.
It is only fear. I tell myself.
I know that Ryley will get better, he is ok.
This is nothing but an unwelcome reminder that this is our life, caring for Ryley is part of who I am.
I sobbed that night, praying silently for Ryley to get better, begging, again, in a familiar scene from before.
There was a reassuring voice in amongst my tears, though I refused to listen.
So here we are, today, 7 days into Ryley being sick.
We have avoided hospital only because our wonderful paed knows that Ryley will recover better at home.
In some ways, Ryley being sick has forced me to start feeling my grief. I have ignored it for 3 months now, pretending that I am fine, standing tall as the designated pillar of strength.
I am strong, yes that is true, but even strong people need someone to walk alongside them at times.
The thing is though, Grief has been my friend for many many years. It is familiar. In nearly 12 years, it has walked beside me, rearing it's head time and time again. This time, Grief is a bit different, yet eerily the same. When my brother passed away I almost welcomed my old friend Grief. I told myself I knew how to handle this. Grief would walk with me a while, then disappear again for a bit.
I forgot that Grief comes back, and waits to be made welcome (what you resist, persists). The time that Grief comes back is unpredictable, it shows up at seemingly random times.
Every time I think of my brother I feel this tightness in my body, this deep deep sadness and I can barely breathe. So I move the thoughts away.
It is time though.
Time to let Grief stay for a while.
No matter how difficult it may be, I need to embrace where I am being lead.