Thursday, March 2, 2006

Bear with me

As the days goes by, I haven’t found things getting easier. Each day seems like an anniversary. Saturday we took Oliver out on the town. Sunday we came home from the hospital. Sunday we took him to the hospital. Tuesday he died. Thursday he was born. Today he would have been three weeks old. And that is so young, but he didn’t even make it that far. And I feel so empty. In my room, his moses basket no longer stands in place, but its shadow is there and I constantly look to it wishing with all my might that I might find it and him there. I only had ten good days with him, two in the hospital for a total of twelve days in his life, but those ten days will stick with me forever. I want to go back to them. I want to treasure each moment more. I want to take more pictures. I want to frame him. I don’t want to know he's lying in the cold mortuary in the hospital any more. I want him here with me. Alive. Well.

I will never understand this. The pain will ease, I know that. But I will never understand why my Oliver had to go so young. He was so beautiful. I just want him back.

I’m trying to write the other posts. They sit in open Word documents on my laptop, but I’m finding it harder to write than I thought. But I will, because already memories are fading and that is hard too. Why can’t my memory be better?

Mostly now, I’m just waiting to go back to Seattle. I don’t ever want to see this bedroom again because Oliver is here. I wake up in the morning and it is the hardest time, because the sun has woken me up and not an infant’s squeals for his breakfast, and again I feel so empty. He’s not lying beside me anymore. But I still see him here. So I never want to see this place again. I want to see my daughter. And yes, I am thankful that in the end she wasn’t here to experience all of this pain firsthand, but I did tell her that her baby brother, who she insisted on calling Bubble even after he was born, rejecting Oliver as his name, went to heaven. She took it hard, and now I feel like a terrible mother for telling her when I couldn’t be there to comfort her. I will always regret telling her over the phone, because listening to her cry over the phone and being so helpless, so far away, so unable to take her in my arms and comfort her, it ripped me apart. I made a big mistake, but I can’t undo it; I can only hope that I didn’t damage her in some way. How am I to know how to do all of this? I’ve never lost someone close to me. I’ve never lost a child before. How does one prepare? How does one know the right way to do it all?

You can’t just escape from it. It doesn’t go away. But I really wish it would.

I thank you all for your comments and your emails. You have no idea how much I’ve appreciated them, and Steve as well. He is so completely touched that so many people out there care so much and have been touched by our loss. It’s been a real comfort to us. And I know some people would never dream about being so forthright with their experience and their pain deeming it to be a private time in life, but Steve and I are basically alone here in London with our grief. The telephone and the computer has been our main source of comfort, whether through the voices and emails of friends and families or comments and emails from strangers around the world. So thank you, thank you. It’s meant so much to us.

Danielle made a lovely and thoughtful suggestion that I select a charity in the UK and one in the US to which readers can make donations possibly in Oliver’s name. I think it is a wonderful idea, because anything that gets people to give money to a worthy cause is a great idea in my book. So after a lot of thinking, I have chosen Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children here in London. They were so wonderful to us and to Oliver; Steve and I will be eternally grateful to them for everything. He died there, but thousands of children that pass through the hospital’s door get well. Helping them would mean so much to Oliver’s memory.

If you would like to send a cheque/check on which you denote that it is meant to be a donation in memory of Oliver, the name you can use is Oliver Harry R-W, Feb 9-21, 2006. For privacy’s sake obviously, I am not giving our last names. You can send your check to:
Freepost LON20107
If it is the donation that is important to you, it is quite simple to log on to the site and donate online. They tell of many different ways to help the hospital.

It’s up to you all if you let me know whether or not you donate. The family liaison will let us know of donations that come in in honor of Oliver’s memory, those that have been denoted in such a way, that is.

As for a charity in the US, I have decided to go with the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, because had I been there, it is where Oliver would have gone. You can make a donation online and denote that it is in Oliver’s memory, and they can notify the person if you choose, but I will not be giving my address, so you can try to put my name, Rebecca R and email address . I am sure they will get to me.

You can also send in a check, which you accompany with this form.

Thank you all for your kindness and thoughtfulness. I know things will get easier once I get back to Seattle. And I will try to finish one of my other entries for posting tomorrow.

Song that will not leave my head: Baby of Mine, Dumbo soundtrack. I sang it to Oliver while he lay in the hospital bed covered in tubes. I felt a bit like Dumbo's mum when she cuddled her son with her trunk from the prison. It was as close as they could get to each other but they took comfort from it nonetheless. All of Oliver's tubes and such felt to me like Dumbo's mum's prison. I could hold his hand and caress his head, but I couldn't pick him up and pull him close to me like I wanted to so badly. Sometimes I wonder if those two last days would have been better spent with my son in my arms rather than lying under a blowup heating blanket.