Cracks in the facade

Rhys called me up today to let me know that the hospital or funeral parlor called him up and let him know that Brandon’s body is back in Townsville. The funeral director told us before that they’ll handle …

I don’t know how to keep writing polite euphemisms for corpse.

Because that was my son.

Brandon. The latest addition to the clan. Feisty, bright-eyed, opinionated little Brandon. We all want him back. Instead, we have to somehow live with the reality that he, and all that he could have been, will be gone.

Anyone who sees us right now would think we’re completely unaffected, focused as we are on just getting things done, every single day. The opposite is the actual reality. All of us have this urge to start smashing things, punch holes in the walls, break tables, furniture. All of us have this little numb inner voice that says things like: Yeah, but I can’t afford to replace that monitor/Cintiq/keyboard/figurine; can’t smash holes in the wall, we have a house inspection on Monday and we kinda need the windows intact; it’d suck not to have that desk and have to replace it. We briefly considered buying cheap dishes and smashing them, but all us grownups had vaguely similar reactions: but that’s money and then we’d have to clean up afterward so the kids don’t get hurt.

A few people have mentioned that I seem to be ‘holding it together’ pretty well. Rhys says he’s gotten similar comments; that it’s almost like he’s gone completely cold, has ice water for blood because he’s still ‘functioning’ and able to carry out tasks at work as calmly as possible.

Can’t do anything but focus on what we can do something about, really. There’s the funeral preparations to focus on, there’s day to day stuff that needs to happen, life goes on even if you feel like your world has ended. Other people – the children especially – are counting on you.

In truth, that facade hides the hurt, the urge to scream, the thousand-yard stare that shows up when we’re alone, the awareness of time slipping by all too quickly. Saying I miss Brandon and want him back are such small words that sound hollow when spoken out loud, unless when the person speaking is one of the kids, in which case it feels like a knife twisted in one’s gut would hurt less. And even they are hiding how much it hurts, focusing on Mummy. I’m scared of how much it’d smash us, when the grief finally becomes too much.

How does one comfort one’s own children in their grief, when you don’t have the answers or the methods to cope yourself? Out of a park full of children, the ones my kids played with was a baby boy who grabbed onto Vincent and let out a happy shriek as he hauled himself upright. To hear the siblings laugh, as that blue-eyed boy gurgled and giggled as he toddled and crawled and cuddled. To suppress my own urge to hug that happy baby who is unaware of my need to feel a babe in my arms again.

How do you comfort children who say they don’t want to talk about it because it’s so sad to talk about it?

How do you reconcile that it’s actually possible to laugh at a funny joke, or feel happiness at the same time that all you want to do is cry, but can’t, and feel so tired most of the time that all you want to do is sleep.

How does one deal with this pained question (both asked by us and asked bitterly with sympathy by others): “With all the babies who are abused and killed by the people who don’t want them, why did the baby who was so treasured, wanted, adored and loved die? It’s just fucking unfair.”

I hugged and cuddled Vincent when I found him crying today. I told him it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel sad, to miss his baby brother. Giving the kids photos seemed to help a little. Rune is burying her grief in work.

When the urge to break something gets too much, I log in and blow up some Borg.

I went and got some books on grief and children. I miss being a kid because when I was a kid, and things sucked, I could ask my Dad if we could go bookshopping and I could run away from the world through the pages of a story. As a grownup, that doesn’t work.

And as much as I hate those goddamned sleeping pills, I need them because if I don’t take it, I sleep badly, reliving that horrible, horrible instant that I found our beloved Brandon dead again and again.

Aff is focused on helping me get better, and take care of the kids, while struggling with the unfairness of losing Brandon.

There’s been some attempt to get some therapists to contact me; and someone from SIDS and Kids called to inquire about Vincent, but they’re in Brisbane.

sleeping pills taking effect. zzz.

5 thoughts on “Cracks in the facade

  1. Wyldkat

    I won’t say I that I know how you feel, because I don’t. I’ve never had children, let alone lost one. But I do know loss and I know pain. I understand the desire to go full on Hulk and smash things, and the cold logical voice saying to stop.

    I wish it was possible to step through the monitor and be there .. to lend a hand, to offer a hug or a shoulder.

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