My Grief Challenges

“Mom, where’s my …” December 13, 2014

ef8df838d80f5ceb17b1dea88e9e2eda                                                          First, just a few things to put out there:                                                                *** Some may wonder why I am being so public with my grief journey.   Many of the people I know tend to keep most of their angst inside.  God just didn’t make me that way.  It is my hope that when I communicate,  someone out there,  might read a phrase and be comforted by reading about someone else working through a rough situation and that they would be encouraged to work through their own struggles.   As time moves forward, I hope my grief growth journey will be more encouraging than depressing, but “Not Right Now” ,which is a song title by Jason Gray.   I have had many gulp episodes since being told my journey is going to be a long, hard, complicated process.                                                                                                                      *** Many of you may be wondering why I put so many posters in my posts.   Simply because  I am an extremely visual person.          Whenever someone is speaking to me, I am making a filmstrip in my head. If a detail is left out, I but in to get that information, so my picture is complete.  And when I am answering a question, I am trying to find the correct folder-in my minds eye, so I can replay the situation in hopes of answering correctly.  I do better if I do not have to answer on the spur of the moment.        Anyway, I try to find posters that say what my words might not.    I hope this explanation made some sense.                                                                                                       *** In the past, when I came across songs that are right for my emotions, I would you-tube share. I have been concerned about copyright laws, which are hard for me to figure out. So, from now on I will share the name of the artist and the title of the song.   Maybe someone, sometime will be able to explain what the copyright laws really mean.                                                                  My guilt load is heavy enough as it is.   e7764c65ec94cd0c7d3f405b4b37d75d

Shawn in igloo 2012

In past posts, I have mentioned that Shawn could not talk because of the tubes down his throat.  After my November 15th, post, that night I was very tired and sure I was going to get some sleep. Nope,  a memory came bounding in upon my rest.         This has to do with one of the many times I believe  I failed Shawn.   My sleepy mind replayed ,vividly, the details.                   It was a day in February 2013.   I had just gotten to the hospital, the medical staff told me they had tried to explain to Shawn about his left arm, he just couldn’t accept what he had been told.                     Other family members had been instructed as to how to talk with Shawn about his left  arm.          I am writing this from my experience.   In no way do I want folks to think I was the only one who was working with Shawn.                     Anyway, back to the replay.       When I arrived in Shawn’s room, he clearly asked me: “Mom, where’s my left arm ?”        How was Shawn able to get those words out so clearly ?    Then a guilt trip, I felt so bad that I had not been able to understand any past efforts Shawn had made trying to talk.   What was my problem ?            My sleepy mind continued the replay.      I remembered how frustrated Shawn had become that day.  He was demanding me to push him out of the hospital. I think he was worried about what else was going to be done to him, at the hospital.  He was also worried for his family and about his job.   I told him the doctors didn’t think he was well enough to leave.     My mind then recalled  the verbal lashing Shawn gave me.    It hurt-I so hated it then, now, even those awful words would be music.                I  just stood there unable to say anything, tears started and I had to leave Shawn’s room, to compose myself.           2a16e63333e63666728691f24f22e5cd         Another guilt trip:   had we made the right choice   ???        All I could think of was: I had my sons arm cut off.     I knew of one medical person who really didn’t think it was the problem -thus the reason for my doubt.                     I recall the gut grind  of not being able to figure out what to say or do.  The medical staff said to explain things as best as I could.   Shawn needed to hear the details from me.   I asked if his arm was in pain. They didn’t think so.                                                                    I went back  to Shawn’s room. I was going to do the best I could to help ease my son’s questioning mind. I reminded him of the metal plate that had been in his arm, from a skateboard accident. I told him that the screws were calcified and that the doctors were concerned that infections might be happening from the plate area.   I told him how damaged everything was from the deep burns over more than 73% of his body.     I said that it seemed the best decision, for his health, to remove the worst part of his arm so he could heal and be with his loved ones, outside the hospital.      No, I did not hide my tears or whimpers. I DID make it clear that I was going to be at his side, as much as he would allow.  And, we were going to make this work so he could get back to his family.                                               18561b2dbc8b0a13fedd4dee554e7596                  Thankfully,  the Physical Therapist (P.T.) came in.  She seemed to know I was pretty spent.  She joined in our conversation, helping me to encourage  Shawn.  She asked me to hold Shawn’s little arm. I was worried I would cause him more pain. She instructed me  on  how and where to hold.    After that,  I made it a point to hold Shawn’s little arm, as much as I could.  I told Shawn that once he was better the doctors were going to help us with a new arm. The P.T. went into great detail regarding the possibilities. Then I told Shawn about my cousin, whose left arm looked like his. I told Shawn all the things my cousin had learned.  I told Shawn I wanted him to meet my cousin and see how he could tie his shoes-one handed. I wanted him to be able to watch my cousin catch a baseball, through it straight up, toss off his baseball mitt, catch the ball and throw it-one handed.  I was always so proud of my cousin for all the things he had learned.   Then Shawn let the corners of his mouth curve up. I asked him if it bothered him when I used the words “little arm” ?  He gave me a precious smile.  Then he moved his cheek to my hand and rested peacefully.  c31b547cf9239afbc47f68945f095067.jpg

On December 5, about 4:45 AM,  I was walking  toward my bus to drop my belongings before hitting the track. I saw headlights coming toward me. It was unusual to see any rigs driving around the bus lot. I knew the mechanics were in the shop, so it wasn’t them. I was getting anxious. I was near a door I could bolt into if this person had ill intent. It was a sheriff car. The officer told me that he saw the gate unlocked and wanted to make sure everything was okay.   As I started loopin’, I saw the sheriff car park in the school lot above me.  I kept my flashlight on, but you cannot imagine the comfort that morning, from the sheriff’s presence.  3ca0bb4bf01751076f260fba20135a39  It had been a rough few days and I was just feeling drained. Then, low and behold, a friend joined me for the last 2 loops.    I think it was God doing a work of support.

                      $_1    Oh My Gracious !!!   I tried this walk DVD of Leslie’s:      It was a blast !  Leslie’s Walking Crew were wonderful !!!   I made it through 2 miles.   What fun !!!  And yes, I sweat !!!  I think it is worth a try !!!     I am very thankful TV is one way view. I have no rhythm and do many extra steps. 


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