The first month anniversary, the nanny went off the deap end and we had to fire her. It was bad, really, really bad. II kept insisting she was just overcome by her grief and running away and I just kept saying she was crazy and I wanted her away from myself and my kids. Instead of being able to even process it was the ONE MONTH anniversary of my son passing, I was in survival mode trying to remove a parasite from my life and protect my kids from the crazy.
That crazy kept going for nearly a month, especially with the trashy call to CPS because the nanny decided that *I* and not her ex-husband called CPS on her for events that were necessary to call CPS. The case was settled quickly, the call was nothing but lies, and the case worker clearly felt uncomfortable even having to bother us, but the events were insanely traumatic for everyone. Here we were raw and grieving and we had to allow an invasion of our home and access to our children who did not want anyone outside coming in just to prove that lies were lies. All I kept saying was that her actions proved why I needed to fire her.
The second month anniversary, I was having significant health issues. I developed Psoriasis that was consuming my ability to function night and day. I actually had it for two years at that point, without knowing what it was. It jumped off my head as Micah was dying. In the stress after his death it just went haywire. So did my blood pressure. My thyroid also tanked on me. So, on the second month anniversary, I developed chest pain and shortness of breath.
At some point after we discovered my blood pressure was approaching stroke levels and I was trying to rationally deduce whether the shortness of breath and chest pain were *really* a concern, I realized it was time to let someone else evaluate the situation.
I was not having a heart attack, as the Emergency Department determined. We did discover that the children were causing a direct reaction in my blood pressure, though there was little to do about it at that point. The chest pain? The cartilage around my ribcage was inflamed. I had taken myself off NSAIDs out of concern that after two months of taking them daily for the pain I had started feeling when Micah died. Evidentally it caused the inflammation I didn't know I had to flare back up, thus the chest pain and shortness of breath.
Once again, it was not safe for me to process the anniversary.
On the third month, the most bizarre thing in the world happened. My sweet son with Hemophilia came home from school and started puking. I figured he had a virus. The morning before the anniversary, he felt "dizzy" and I figured with his car sickness issues, he would puke on the bus and get sent home so I sent him back to bed instead. At ten o'clock, he came downstairs to inform me he had puked "black stuff." While I was evaulating him, he passed out and hit his head on a metal chairframe.
After a careening ambulance ride, two units of blood and a transfer to Children's hospital, the dear boy found himself having GI surgery on the day of the third anniversary to determine where the pure blood he was puking was coming from.
It is very safe to say that processing an anniversary was the furthest thing from my mind that day. Instead we learned that our other son had an H. pylori caused ulcer. It might be uncomfortable and painful for a normal person. With Hemophilia, it filled his guts with blood and put him into a medical crisis. We were grateful he was safe and sound and released to come home again, antacids and two antibiotics later.
Then we came to the fourth anniversary. Surely this time we could avoid the bizarre incidents, right? Nope, one of my children became so overwhelmed with their grief that it became necessary to take them to seek professional assistance, inpatient. My heart breaks that one of my children is that overcome in their grieving that therapy and supports were just not enough. However I know said child is getting the support they need now so they can process their grief better and return to the full functioing soon.
This precious child will be spending Thanksgiving away from us. We've promised to bring food and a visit that day. The rest of us have made a choice to boycott Thanksgiving this year.
Last year, I took the kids to my family Thanksgiving. One of my brothers did not come, since he had a newborn child and did not want to make the trip with a tiny baby. However, the rest of my entire family convened at my dad's. I knew what I had not told the children, that it would likely be Micah's last Thanksgiving. Certainly, it would be his last one where he could function as well as he was at that point. He was surrounded by family, by love, and by those he adored. For Micah and his siblings, it was truly a perfect Thanksgiving.
There's nothing we could possible do this year to not feel Micah's loss even more accuately on that day. I can make a turkey and serve it to a house full of weeping children. Or....I can do something totally off the wall and distract all of us. We'll be going to a Chinese buffet that day. Afterward, we're going to the movies, something we had to stop doing with Micah because he could not behave and be quiet....and frankly we grew tired of the 30 potty trips just so he didn't have to sit still. He did not enjoy the movie theater. It was too overstimulating for him, and too much of a stress on the rest of us to try and force him to go simply because the rest of us enjoyed it. This year, we won't have to decide who is on Micah bathroom duty but merely whether we will all see ONE movie as a family, or whether we will divide into two movies at the same time.
I can only hope we stabilize soon. Grieving has been raw and exhuasting for all of us. My own grief has manifest itself physically and I am now finally nearly on top of the medical fall out from losing my son. Even as we are still often struggling, I am stepping back into a life that is also for me, focusing, finding balance. I hope to write more soon, but I am juggling homeschooling only two children, working part-time after what feels like a lifetime at home, and preparing to re-enter the academic arena this spring. There are positives and negatives in this journey beyond the grieving this family is experiencing. I made a promise to never lose *me* in my life again. Some of these changes are about keeping my promise to myself. Others are simply the reality that life must go on for all of us, no matter how much we miss and desperately wish we could have Micah back with us.