Not sure what’s worse – your child’s death or knowing that she/he has just a couple of more hours to live.
Ayden passed away on a Friday afternoon. The same morning, when his BP went down drastically low, it was kinda understood that he’s not going to make it. Doctors still did whatever they could. Around 9-10 am, his surgeon very hesitantly told us that he just has 1 or 2 hours left. I swallowed a big lump down my throat.
I didn’t try to think.
I took my mother, sister and a close friend inside the ICU to let them see him alive for one last time.
I called important family members, so they have time to take the next available flight/bus/train whatever.
I started packing our things in the hospital room. Threw my lactation supplements in the bin. changed my clothes. Called a friend to come and be with me at the hospital. She reached in no time. Just sat outside ICU for sometime. Restless, walked aimlessly in the hospital corridors. Startled every time the ICU door opened.
Went to the coffeeshop downstairs with the friend. Sat there in silence for almost an hour trying to gulp down one sip of coffee. While sitting there, a friend messaged asking how Ayden was. I didn’t respond immediately. I didn’t want to tell her we’ve been told he’s gonna die. I thought, I’ll respond to her when that happens. She’s a close friend and had genuine concern for me. So I knew she must be waiting for a reply. So, after a bit I replied – He’s not gonna make it. Maybe just another 2-4 hrs. The doctors said 1-2 hrs and already 1 hr was over. But I told her 2-4 hrs just in that tiny hope of extending his life a wee bit more.
Another friend who’s been with me throughout was traveling that day, messaged me – I’m on my way to the airport now, but remember I’m always just a call or WhatsApp away.” I didn’t want to screw up her flight. So I just said thank you. She got to know of Ayden’s passing just a couple of minutes before she boarded the flight.
Now when I look back to those couple of hours, I don’t know what my emotions were. I don’t know what drove me to do the things that I did. I don’t know how I was pulling myself together. I don’t know how I had the courage to pack things, inform people, or sip that coffee. Revisiting every detail of that day gives the same chills as it is happening now, right in front you.
Every second is a live video in my mind – when I was told “It’s over”… the helpless look on the nurses’ face when they saw us coming in right after they unplugged the supports that wasn’t needed anymore… the anesthetist trying to hold back her tears… his lifeless body on that oversized bed, with a blue bedsheet & cute Donald duck prints…
I’m a mother who waited for her son’s death, knowing it will happen. I’m a mother who lived her son’s death even before it happened.
Some of us do have to catch the wrong flight home!