It has been a little over a year since losing Nick to his battle from the brain injury he received, and the subsequent dementia that finally took over. It has been heart wrenching at best. To watch a loved one waste away to someone whom you hardly recognize, is beyond heart breaking. The guilt that most of us felt was some times unbearable. We all fought for Nick. We all prayed for a miracle for Nick, believing God could do just that, a miracle. I think the anger that was felt afterward, and the questions that led back to “why God”, left a jagged hole in our innermost being. Why would God give a miracle to some but not to others? Had we not prayed hard enough? Were we not faithful enough? Did we faulter in our faith while we were believing for a miracle? Yet, maybe Nick did receive his miracle, his sanctuary from all the pain, hurt and struggles. Maybe God’s answer was to bring him “home” where he no longer had to fight an unknown infliction that took over his mind, body and personality. Just maybe God was saying, “I hear your prayers and I am going to bring Nick home so he can be whole again”.
Maybe we did not receive the exact prayer we were hoping for when we prayed for Nick’s brain to be whole again. So Nick could be this loving father, brother, son, and friend again. Maybe God had other plans for Nick.
For those of us left behind, the pain we feel is all too real. There are days that seems like the painful sorrow will never end. How do we go on? How do we heal from the pain that left a gapping hole in our heart. Fighting for so long for Nick put us in the drivers seat, while Nick was “shot gun”, going along hoping to find a cure. When Nick died, and his funeral was over, the feeling was like hitting a brick wall going a 100 mile an hour and then being forced to stop this insane fight in an instant. How do you stop fighting for your loved one after fighting for so many years? A person can lose themselves after a while, and then has to regain a life they put on hold while they were trying to save a person they loved and cared for. It truly has been an agonizing year of sorrow, stress, nightmares and in some weird way, relief. This followed by intense guilt. Putting away Nick’s personal belongings became a task too hard to bear and being pressured into getting rid of things no longer needed was unthinkable. Most people pack up their loved ones things and donate them to some worthy cause. Yet, this was not the case for Nick’s personal things. We were not ready to let go. It was too soon to even think about “getting rid” of Nick’s personal stuff. It felt as though we were betraying Nick somehow, by packing up his things.
The confusion and the inability to think straight took a really long while to straighten out. The heart, mind and body could not comprehend what has happened. A person trying to force themselves to think rationally, as well as make rational decisions, was not possible. It was the hope for a miracle that would possibly keep Nick here on earth with us, the people who loved him, that nagged at my soul and broke my heart, over and over, into millions of little pieces with each new memory, song, phrase, mail that constantly arrived in his name, and then the phone calls inquiring about Nick over the last year that would send me into such sadness.
I don’t think anyone who has experienced such a loss can tell you that you will “just get over it”.
(It has been 3 years and it continues to feel like yesterday)