Yesterday was 100 days since William died. That’s 2,400 hours, 144,000 minutes or 864,000 seconds. People say to me take one day at a time, hour by hour, but even that seems too unbearable. The next hour seems to far away, part of a future that I’m trying so hard to resist, a reality that I don’t want to be part of.
There is no glossing over the hard facts of William’s post-mortem report and the care leading up to his death. I find myself once again in shock, physical shock. The tremors taking hold of me, my hands clammy, my pulse racing, the adrenalin surging through my body, in a constant state of fight or flight. The medication no longer touching the sides. I am exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. My mind feels scrambled, whirring round and around like a washing machine, trying desperately to process the devastating fact that William’s death was avoidable. So utterly avoidable.
Getting through each day, each hour is just too much to comprehend. This morning I rocked up to my appointment with my care coordinator in a mess. Immediately she was able to notice the difference in my demeanor, agitated, perched on the edge of my seat. My eyes darting round the room unable to focus on anything, our conversation flitting from one thing to the next until she asked me ‘how do you feel, right now, in this moment?’ When she asked this question I was busy thinking how the view from the window was very much like the view from the relatives room in the hospital the day William died. How the sky was the same colour, grey, but not just any grey, that grey, the grey that depresses your mood the instant you look at it, it was dull, sullen, with no break in the clouds for as far as the eye could see. That’s what my mind felt like, cloudy, no light seeping in, laden down with darkness. My mind left the relatives room that day and I was trying to focus, how do I respond to that question? How do I feel in this moment?
I pondered for a while, the silence in the room being broken only by the sound of scratching, I realised it was me, scratching aggressively at the palm of my hand. The skin hard and broken yet again, anxiety was destroying me. I could imagine William holding on to the table in front of us, walking round it and removing all the items, discarding them on the floor, ready to play with when he’d finished. I could hear his little voice, babbling to himself as he kept busy, the sounds almost becoming recognisable as words, the pitch in his voice changing as he progressed through each sentence. My goodness how much I miss him, the despair and grief the price I so willingly pay to love William so much. How did I feel in this moment? I could think of many things, I am feeling a mixture of emotions, but right now in this moment I just can’t comprehend how I will live without William here.
And that was it, it occurred to me, how do you feel in this moment? A single moment. Lunchtime seemed like a lifetime away, let alone tomorrow or what lay beyond. With every fixed period of time an unbearable prospect to live with, perhaps I could just live with this moment. Survive just this moment in time. I could just get to the end of this appointment. I could just walk back to the office. I could just turn my computer on. Getting through to the end of each day an impossible task to comprehend, but maybe I could just get through this moment.
Time has been standing still for me since William took his last breath. Many moments have passed, each bringing with them a fear of the unknown. Grief so underestimated. Like the septicemia that silently took my William, grief silently ravages you from the inside, destroying you, debilitating and relentless. To feel so much pain is to feel so much love.
So, how do I feel in this moment? In this very moment I feel tortured.