It’s funny there’s no word for parents who have a child pass away. If you are married and lose a spouse you are a widow/widower. If you are a child and lose your parents you are an orphan. There is no word for us parents who are left to live every single day without one of our children. I don’t remember who worded that out originally.
I thought today I would just type throughout the day and share a day. I woke up from sleeping with Zachary’s favorite shirt. It’s become my woobie. It lost his smell a little bit so I put it in his hamper of dirty clothes from his dorm which I cannot bring myself to wash to get his smell back. I didn’t wake up to the alarm. It’s hard on most days to make yourself wake up to the alarm as all I want to do is stay in bed and ignore the passing days.
After getting Jonathan off to work, I drank a cup of coffee and Facebooked to waste time. I made the mistake of doing one of those stupid quiz things that made a video of your life. All it did was make me sad as we will never have four people on vacation again. One of us will always be stuck with a stranger on roller coasters. We weren’t made to be an odd numbered family. We had “The Boy” and “The Girl” who were both born healthy and we were done. The hives started reappearing after being gone for a month so I took a Valium and let my tears out in the shower. It always feels like a safe space to ugly sob as the shower washes it away. I mean the ugly loud from the belly sobbing. By the time I got out, the medication is kicking in to help curb some of the panicky heartache. There is no shame in taking medication to help get through the panick induced crying. I still have a 13yr old girl I have to get through the day with. I listen to one of Zachary’s favorite bands, Tally Hall, when I get ready as it makes me feel closer to him.
We are supposed to be doing lunch with Jonathan and his Dad today. Currently I have a girl upstairs stomping her feet because she can’t get one contact in. It has been an hour. I cannot help her and she will not wear her glasses. She’s not dressed yet either. Instead of getting frustrated with her, I just have to let it go because I have to remember that she is missing her brother just as much as we are. It’s funny the little things that used to seem like big things really aren’t that important. I have to put on my happy mask to make the day go well for her. It breaks my heart to see parents wish the years away or complain about their kids. They don’t realize what they are wishing away. I would give everything to even have just five more minutes with Zachary.
We go meet Jonathan and his Dad for lunch. It’s always nice to see Papa Airplane when he is in town. We discuss the bench placement at Rogers State University and our upcoming meeting to talk about a scholarship in Zachary’s name. Seeing Jonathan’s employees who are also our friends is always a boost to morale. I’ve tried to talk myself into being strong enough to go to the LGBT+ Pride March for Protection but I can’t do it. I want a night at home with Jonathan, Sarah and Cedrick, Zachary’s boyfriend.
Sarah and I go run a couple of errands and then go pick up Cedrick. We hadn’t seen him in almost a month so we are all looking forward to spending some time with him. I hope he always chooses to be a part of our family. When we get home, we go and sit in the gazebo for a couple of hours and talk and laugh and Sarah is being unusually hyper for her. I think she needed some time with someone who reminds her of Zachary. Cedrick would always talk to Sarah when he and Zachary were here so its good for her to spend time with him. We played the Wii, ate dinner, watched a movie and played the Wii some more.
During some of the play time, Zachary’s cat was in her hiding hole. I went over and she actually let me pet her for five minutes. She’s a very keep to herself cat so this is unusual. This slow down time was just enough to allow the tears to start to flow again so I had to excuse myself to downstairs to collect myself. See, that’s why people try to keep busy. It’s when you stop and sit that the memories come flooding back and the tears start. Sometimes you are in a place or time where you can’t let the tears go. Sometimes, you are in the middle of the night and have no choice but quiet so the tears flow in bed at 2:00 am. I’m fortunate to have a husband who can sense it in his sleep and he always reaches over to touch me during these times. It’s called “sneaky grief” because it inches up behind your eyes and escapes in tears.
Melissa came to get Cedrick and brought me the cutest flowers. They are white with green tips since green was Zachary’s favorite flower. She looks worn down like I was a couple of weeks ago so I hope she feels better soon. We are so thankful to have them in our lives. Melissa is one of my go to people when I need to Facebook chat at weird times.
I get some funny snap chats from my Sister-in-Law Kayla of the kids playing video games. They make me smile. My sister also makes sure to text or call throughout the day too as well as several friends. I’m one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been abandoned by their friends and my friends still talk about Zachary. A lot of parents in our situation lose friends as people don’t know what to say or how to act or what to do. To those friends reading this, I thank you so much and love you. One of the biggest gift you can give parents who have had a child pass away is to say their child’s name. That way we know they are not forgotten.
One thing that is hard is we still have people trying to find some source of blame for Zachary’s death when there is no blame. This has happened the past few weeks and was brought up again today. Zachary’s heart condition was so extremely rare in teenagers that no one would have even known to look for it. It is usually only found in old heavy set people at necropsy. Zachary was none of those things. It’s hard enough to get to a place as a parent where you aren’t blaming anyone, especially yourself. I don’t even know if it would be better if we could blame someone. Zachary’s heart condition was a fluke that messed up the electrical system in his heart. When you are shocked over 6 times by an AED, there is no recovering and it is no ones fault. I just wish other people would get to that acceptance place. I know everyone will in their time. It just isn’t easier on us to be asked questions about blame.
Anyway, Sarah’s sleeping on the couch for Spring Break and she’s already asleep. Jonathan and I are still up watching a movie. When we go to bed, I will have a hard time sleeping, I will curl into the fetal position and the tears will come again but they will be quiet tears so I don’t wake the whole house. Jonathan will sense it and he will hold my hand. Then, when we wake up, the worst Groundhog Day ever will start again. Some days are a little better and some days are still bad. Eventually I know the better days will be more than the bad but there will never be a day that Zachary is not the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of when I go to sleep. I love you a Zachary.
This is a pic of us just hanging at home. Zachary age 11. Sarah age 6.
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