Day 12: NORMALIZING GRIEF – Pretty sure there’s nothing ‘normal’ about grief. But if something was to be ‘normal’ I guess it would be the different emotions we go through, like guilt, anger, regret. I tend to not regret much about Parker’s life besides not taking enough pictures or videos. But there’s certain parts about her death that I wish I could do over, do differently.
The night of October 19, 2012 I had actually slept in my own bed with Phillip beside me. I had been sleeping in Parker’s bed with her for the previous 2-3 weeks. I slept good. I was exhausted. We were all exhausted. We had been holding our breath, anticipating the inevitable. She was swollen from third spacing. She hadn’t eaten in days. She hadn’t woken up or been aware in days. I laid next to my daughter as she slowly died, stroking her face, wrapping her ringlets of blonde hair around my finger. Trying to memorize every inch of her, knowing I wouldn’t have her much longer.
As soon as Phillip and I walked into Parker’s room on the morning of October 20, 2012 we knew it was to be her last day with us on earth. It was a long day. The minutes passed slowly. It felt like eternity in the worst and best ways possible.
I remember at one point, maybe around 6pm we watched her heart rate and oxygen saturation numbers plummet. Like an out of body experience I remember wailing, ‘No, please. My monkey. My monkey. Not my monkey. No. No.’ And her numbers immediately jumped back up – not where they needed to be, but back up. I felt horrible. Such a weird feeling. I apologized to her at least 50 times. ‘I’m so sorry Parker. I didn’t mean to scare you. It’s ok. Mommy will be ok. I promise. It’s ok. I’m so sorry baby.’ And on and on and on. It was a complete surreal feeling to be telling my daughter it was ok to die. But it was. Her death was not pleasant. Her lungs were filling. Her kidneys were completely shut down. It was time. It was time for her to transition to her next journey – to the beautiful angel with permanent wings she was to become.
After apologizing too many times, with my hand laying across her chest, counting her breaths, anticipating each thump of her heart, I began to sing to her. I sang our special three songs over and over to her. Softly. Trying to speak to her soul. Trying to comfort her. Trying to comfort myself. Her numbers slowly went down. The last looked her heart rate was 16 beats a minute. Her oxygen was in the 20’s. As I sang ‘I can’t say that everything’s ok, ’cause I can see the tears your crying. And I can’t promise to take the pain away, but you know I won’t stop trying. I’ll be the angel by your side. I will get you through the night. ‘Cause when you’re down and out of time and you think you’ve lost the fight let me be the angel, the Angel by your side’ Parker took her last breath in my arms right before 7pm. I searched for one last heartbeat, but it wasn’t there. I’m sure mine skipped a few beats as it broke. As I wanted so bad to give her mine. To trade her places. But she became healed and whole at that same time. I knew she did. My life stood still and was oddly at peace while her new life was just beginning. She transitioned into an angel right before mine and Phillip’s eyes. That part was peaceful, surreal. There was a house full of people just outside her room but in that moment it was just us – Phillip and I holding our girl, kissing her goodbye, and saying our ‘I love you’s’ as the angels came to take her home. And it was beautiful in the most heartbreaking of ways.