Monday, April 7, 2008

Tears

We went to the memorial service yesterday. I still am unsure if I'm glad I went or not. I guess I am still processing how I feel about it.

Sometimes I think I am different from everyone else. I feel like, I don't grieve like 'normal' people. I do not like to be made to cry, I never have. I hate tear jerker movies, Beaches and Terms of Endearment and all those kinds of films, I feel manipulated by them. That's the best way I can explain how I felt yesterday.

I cry for Jack. Every.single.day. And every day, it's something different that makes me cry. It's the corner of the nursery where his crib used to be. It's the sight of a little boy marching in the St. Patrick's day parade. It's a picture of my two babies with this small, empty spot in between. It's Alica Keyes on the radio. It's PJ telling me how he had wanted to give Jack the nickname "Flapjack." It's a card in Target that says "To A Sweet Boy on his First Easter." It's a million things, it can be anything, it can be nothing.

I don't need help crying for my baby. I don't need to hear "Yesterday" played, I don't need to hear poems about empty arms and broken hearts. I don't need to pick at a wound that already hurts, for me it just makes it hurt more....

But that is me. The service was done very nicely, and it seems that for everyone else, it helped, and they are all glad they went. I did like seeing Jack's picture, huge, up on the screen, so sweet, with his name underneath, and his date of birth, and date of death. I want everyone to see him, the world to see him. He deserves that.

It was heartbreaking to see the other 56 children's faces up there too, one after the other. Each one took your breath away, knowing that child is gone, that family is hurting like we are hurting. Some families sobbed so loudly as their child's picture was shown, it was the saddest sound I've ever heard. It felt like, it was more picking at my wound.

I didn't sleep well last night, and all this morning I could not stop crying. Could not stop thinking about Jack, about CHoP, about things I had forgotten that going back had made me remember. But it wasn't all bad, really. I am glad to remember, I am glad to think of Jack.

And I am glad I went back to CHoP, if not to the service itself. It felt like we'd never left, and yet it felt totally different. It's not 'ours' anymore. The first few days Jack was there, we were so lost... we didn't know where anything was, where we were going, what we were doing. By that last day, we felt like regulars. We knew what was good to eat in the cafeteria, what was the best way to Jack's part of the NICU, who were the nicest girls at the front desk, where to get free cookies and crackers, where to do Jack's laundry, where to get our parking validated..... Going back, we weren't the lost new people, and we weren't the regulars, we were the veterans. Everything has gone on without us, and that's okay. That's how it should be.

Jack is not at CHoP anymore, and going back helped me accept that. He is not in that little bed by the window. He is not laying cold in that little bassinet, like the last time I saw him. He's not in Philly at all. He's here, with me. Every time Katie and Charlotte stare at what seems like nothing, the corner of the nursery where Jack's crib was, the lamp that's not even turned on, every time they smile when no one is even playing with them, every time they laugh for no reason, I know it's because they see Jack. He's home.

Like the butterfly who lights beside us
like a sunbeam -
for a brief moment
its glory and beauty
belong to our world -

but then it flies on again.

And though we wish it could have stayed
we are so thankful to have seen it.


-- from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Memorial Service, April 6, 2008

30 comments:

Millicent said...

I am glad you went, even if it just helped to realize that Jack is at home now, where he belongs. Like you I hate to cry. I have done it so much more now I am a mother. I wish as always there was more I could do or say. But know this, I think of you and Jack all the time. I remember to hold my children a little tighter and to teasure all the moments good and bad.

Since Jack died I have taken on an extra child. He is 9 and his name is Harry. His Mum is a friend of mine and decided she couldn't cope and was going to have him put in foster care. I had 4 kids already, but I just couldn't let that happen to him. I am so glad I did, he brings us such joy. One of the reasons I am doing it is for Jack. So see he is changing lives! Even as far away as Australia...

Anonymous said...

Megan I am so sorry to hear about your rough day. I cannot offer much advice since I have no idea what it feels like to endure what you are going through - however, I'd just like to remind you to not be so hard on yourself. 3 months is not a very long time. I know it's not the same thing, but I had to give up a baby girl for adoption when I was a teenager. The grieving I felt over that loss took a long time to heal. I think it's a very brave thing you did by attending that service in order to honor your son.

I think about Jack almost every day and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

CRS said...

What a beautiful way to think about Jack being with you.

I'm glad you went to the ceremony, even though it was difficult for you. It sounds like it brought some closure to you, although of course you will never have complete closure.

I'm always thinking of you all!
-SBF

Anonymous said...

My tears are flowing for you. I am glad you went and am sorry it was difficult for you. I appreciate the way you described your grief and your feelings about others expectations.

Continuing to pray for you and your family! HUGS!
--A Mom in Jacksonville, FL

Anonymous said...

My tears are flowing for you. I am glad you went and am sorry it was difficult for you. I appreciate the way you described your grief and your feelings about others expectations.

Continuing to pray for you and your family! HUGS!
--A Mom in Jacksonville, FL

leona said...

I am so glad you went. Your post was so beautifully written. You are absolutely correct that Jack is home with you and will always be the angel watching over his sisters.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the service was beneifical for you and your family. I don't have any children but wish every day that I could receive that blessing. I am so happy that you received your three miracles, no matter how long they are here with you, know that they will always be "with you." God Bless and keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

I got your blog from my friend Dianna's blog, I really enjoy reading your stories. You are a great writer. Your little girls are absolutly beautiful. I am so sorry for your little Jack. He will always be in your heart, your little girls will bring you so much joy!!
God Bless You!!and your family!!
Hugs to you
Linda, lindafaraci@sbcglobal.net

Hyperfertile Infertile said...

All I have is a big virtual hug.

Emily said...

Just sending hugs your way...

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here crying right along with you. You have such a way to put feelings and thoughts into words. My heart aches for you today and everyday. I know that Jack is home with you, and in the girls smiles and in the light in there eyes. God Bless you and your family Megan!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! You are stronger than you realize. You are strong despite the tears and feelings. I think it's wonderful that they celebrate the lives of the children of CHoPs. I think of you and your family often. I showed my seven year old step-daughter your blog. I explained what happened to Jack and showed her pictures of Charlotte and Katie. I also showed her the pictures of Jack. I didn't go into a lot of detail, but she said, "Awww, he had a wonderful life!" How true...

Gwen said...

I'm sorry the service was so hard. I cry pretty easily, and I sometimes feel strange at formal rituals like that too. I don't cry when I'm "supposed" to cry, necessarily. But I'm glad that going to CHoP was helpful, at least.
Know that I think of you and your family every day. My husband and I talk about Jack, he knows who I mean even if I just use his first name like that. Like, "Megan wrote today about Jack's memorial service..." I think of you and it helps me get through tough days with my twins, knowing that I'm grateful that my children are safe and healthy. Jack is still present in so many ways, even for people who never met him.

Barbara Manatee said...

I heard "No One" this morning on my way to work and thought of you and Jack. I can not even imagine how hard it would have been to revisit CHoP and the memories there. Hopefully the good memories will last longer than the bad ones and that Katie and Charlotte will share Jack's memory for years to come. Bless you and your family.

the schirano triplets said...

sending lots of hugs and prayers your way...

Amanda said...

You are SO brave. That is so beautiful though and you are right. He is not there anymore. He is right where he belongs now--with his mom.

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful, touching writer.

Jessica B said...

Megan, that is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. EVER.
I literally have tears in my eyes. I think Jack will always be with you and PJ, and especially with his sisters. Bless you!

Lotta said...

Your writing is so honest and heartbreaking. It just makes me cry for you every time I read it. And in the good, earnest way - not the Hallmark commercial manipulative way you talked about.

chellekay said...

You don't know me but I wish I could give you a hug tell you that Jack will always be with you and your girls. He is your angle! I lost my twin sister at 10 months of age. It is heart breaking and I miss her so much. But I know she is with always and is watching over me.

AddieLynn said...

I just wanted to thank you for being so honest in sharing your thoughts, feelings... basically your life. You inspire me to be a better person. You give me hope when somedays I feel like I have none. I told my husband about Jack. I had to share your story, and I do think about you and your family often. Continue to do the best you can everyday. That's all anyone expects from you. God Bless.

Bridget Decker said...

I was led to your site from another child's site. I had to go back to the beginning of your blogs to read about Jack and how it all began. I cried and cried and laughed a bit and cried some more. I lost a four month old baby in June 2007. He lived and died in the NICU as well. You brought back so much of what we went through and so much of what we are still going through. I am glad I found your site and will continue to check in on you and the girls. God Bless!!

Bridget Decker (mom to angel William)

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. It took every ounce of strength not to burst into tears at my desk.

I'm glad you went to the service. It sounds like it helped you, even in some small way.

I've been keeping you guys in my thoughts.

Sarah
oct11bride03

Anonymous said...

You are a veteran and an inspiration to so many others. I hope you know that!

Sandy said...

Megan i'm glad you went to the ceremony and that you feel Jack is home with you. I can't even imagine how painful it must of been going back, but the tribute they did for him sounds beautiful. I'm always thinking of you all especially Jack. He has changed so many of us. I often speak of him to Dylon. Amazing how i never met him but yet i talk about him to my my son.
Hugs to you all,
Sandy

Jessica said...

My Momma read that same verse at my sister's memorial last february... I love it and hate it all at the same time. Like you I don't need help in crying, Its all the most insignificant things that remind me of her, of course who's determining the signifcance...
I'm sorry. I'm just so sorry.

evathebride said...

Lots of love for your Jack. His story and fight still touch me every day.

Patyrish said...

I have no words that will make this any better or easier for you.

I am sorry seems so lame to say.

Just know that I am thinking and praying for you daily. I think of jack often.

Hang in there.

Deb said...

He is with you. He's with many, many people now because of your eloquent and loving writing about him. This was a lovely tribute.

maman_marlene said...

Je ne sais pas parler en anglais malheureusement... Mais je voulais vous dire que votre Jack est magnifique et que je le chercherais dans les étoiles ce soir. C est magnifique ce qui a été fait a son nom! Il veille sur vous et sur ses sœurs. Je vous envois depuis la Suisse un câlin de maman a maman pour essayer de réchauffer quelque peu votre cœur souffrant.

I tempt a translation by translator: I do not know how to speak in English regrettably... But I wanted to say to you that your Jack is magnificent and that I would look for him(it) in stars this evening. C is magnificent what was made has his(her,its) name! He stays up you and his sisters. I you sendings since Switzerland a cuddle(hug?) of mom has mom to try to warm a little your unwell heart.