Saturday, 24 May 2014

HOW AND HOW LONG DOES A PARENT MOURN A CHILD?

Today started out fairly normal. Hey, I was even all smiles and dressed to please myself, the weather and in souvenir of Cameroon my motherland. I had a Rhumatologist appointment and since l found out the doctor was Cameroonian, I was looking forward to some nostalgia.  l had actually chosen him based on that and well, we did talk of our motherland.
Shortly before going to my "waterloo"
Shortly before going to my “waterloo”
But something had been happening in me since last night and I couldn’t figure out what. I just wasn’t my normal self at some dinner we attended and l was sent off to bed.
The moment I walked into the hospital, I knew
When I walked into that hospital, I knew why. Although it’s been six good years since l lost her, l still don’t know if I mourn well or for how long l will still have to mourn. I passed a pediatric unit and all those toys, I saw the neonatal unit and saw those incubators in which she spent that one and only night, l passed the gyneco and obstetric ward, and all this was tormenting.
Why does it hurt so much?
It’s not like I think about Ange Claire every other day, no it’s much better now. After all, she just survived a day so maybe I am better off than those parents who bury Children with some accomplishments and futures ahead? Or maybe it is actually that I didn’t mourn right and for a ‘right’ period of time?
When my girl was born, she looked just like me and this picture of mine reminds me so much of the hair she had.
Marie the baby.
l loved her so much although l didn’t even get to suckle her even once. All l did was cradle her a minute and give her kiss before she was taken from me and put into that incubator. She had developed a respiratory deficiency barely 15 minutes just after she was born. I am thankful her elder brother had survived a similar problem too. He had battled in the incubator for one whole week shortly after his birth.
Did I mourn right and right?
I remember the doctor telling her father and l that night that she needed a special drug, which unfortunately wasn’t available in their pharmacy. It was maybe 9.30 pm and there was only one pharmacy in town where she was sure it could be found. Her father asked her if he could go get it in the morning, and she said yes. I was so tired after having laboured for more than a day and having to go through that, l just couldn’t pick another argument with him to go then.
l couldn’t sleep straight. l dozed off at midnight, had a nightmare and woke up at 4am. l told him we should go and check on her. Sure we got there just as the doctor was pronouncing her DEAD. l just went to my angel and kissed her then l went back to the room and hid under the bed. l quickly entered the denial gear or whatever that could be called.
l only managed to call my mother. Who came in and left soon thereafter with her father and co to bury her at her paternal grandparents’. She later took me to her home where l spent a week mourning in whatever way.
Friends l had called last night to announce the birth of my princess, were told a different story when they called to find out how we slept. Some stopped by and by then l had already switched to ‘am ok’ gear. l didn’t want to discuss the ‘matter’.
The only person l really wanted to talk and or cry over it with, was my husband. But he didn’t want to. Until I left his house, never did we discuss that ‘matter’. I hallucinated for six good months, lost sleep and any sexual appetite, l was so scared he may die, l did’t want him to travel, touch me or even be merry around me.
Then I thought I had mourned enough
l however gradually pulled myself together and was always ‘seemingly so strong’ so much that my sister who flew in to visit soon thereafter, remarked later on that she thought l never ‘cared’. She was surprised that l talked about that incident in my 35th birthday message to all.
Yet, when a cousin of mine lost his baby when his wife was 5 months pregnant, l was erratic. l stayed up all night and cried and spoke to whoever until dawn. You see, I have also lost another baby to a miscarriage too.
Finding strength in what remains
So after I left that hospital today, ( I haven’t been to a hospital since she died, clinics yes but hospital no), I couldn’t move. I knew l had to steady myself. My blood pressure even showed an increase although when the doctor asked l just said it was stress.
And then, my Darling Darling who had been out of town, just got back. He’d tried to call when I was in there and only left a message. He tried again and told me to wait for him right there. You see, he knows what it is to lose a child. He’d lost one too.
We are best friends and l am so grateful for him. He has even agreed to go with me for my results and the doctor’s control.
l know we shall all die. But, l really think that children should bury their parents and not the other way round! I am equally glad l can write to heal and help others and that l can share my struggles and all.
Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, do you know how and how long a parent mourns their child? Do you want to share or just leave a gentle comment? Thank you in anticipation.