Sunday, September 30, 2012

Losing Toby

The house we lived in when Toby died was large. Not only was it big square footage-wise (about 4200 sq. ft.) but it was long. To walk from the kitchen and go down the hall, up the stairs, and to our family room with the pool table it took a good 2-4 minutes. I always became aware of the amount of time it took to get from one end of our house to the other when I was working and wanted something to drink, or at night when moving through the dark felt like sleepwalking.

On the day that Toby died, I stood on the balcony outside of my office and watched the ambulance drive up our mountain. Our driveway was long, too, nearly half a mile. It seemed to take them forever. I could do nothing to make them move faster. When they reached the top, I flew down the stairs and let them in through the kitchen and then ran ahead of them, again taking the stairs two at a time, directing them to the room where he lay dead.

After 6 minutes of not breathing, the human brain loses too much oxygen. Even upon revival, brain damage has been done. Toby never would have lived. He was not breathing when I found him. Nobody knows how long he had been like that. I think his body was still warm, but he was also bundled up. Mom and I were not able to revive him with CPR. It took the ambulance at least 10 minutes to get to our house. (An unbelievably short amount of time, considering how far out in the country we lived.) And then more minutes were lost just getting through our house. Still, I believe he had been dead for at least an hour or two when he was discovered. Maybe longer.

Sometimes, I dream about that house. In my dreams, I am walking the length of the hallways, looking for him. I open all the bedroom doors and the office door and the door to our den. I wander through the dining room and kitchen and sitting room and our second office downstairs. I go through all the bathrooms. I'm looking for him, but I just can't find him.

"He'll always live in your heart." What does that mean? That you'll always remember the person? "As long as they're in your heart, they're never really gone." Bullshit. Toby is gone. He is not here. I feel sometimes like if I went back to my old house, I could find him. That maybe if I sat in that rocking chair in the kitchen again or stood in the living room like I did when he was in my arms, staring out the big windows at the mountains,I could find him. But I can't. His grave is a symbol of him, but he's not there, either. Imagining his body under there is a place that no parent who has lost a child can ever really go. So I don't.

Sometimes, religious people tell others like me that they feel sorry for us because we don't believe in their idea of God, Jesus, and Heaven. That is must be awful to be a person like me and not have the pearly gates and Saint Peter to look forward to. The one thing that gives me a little bit of solace, though, is my belief in reincarnation. The idea that he will come back, or has, and that I might once again see him in THIS like and this form is one of the only comforting feelings I have. To know that he might get the chance to be a little boy, or heck, a little girl, and grow up and do all the things that he couldn't do when he was with me is both maddening and peaceful at the same time.

I can't find Toby and I don't feel him. Having him in my heart is not comforting. I would rather have him in my arms.
my house

1 comment:

Maxie's Mommy said...

Someone said this to me recently "you'll always hold him in your heart". "obviously", I said. What does that even mean? Is it meant to be a comfort? My child will obviously always be in my heart. But that is meaningless when I want him to have a beautiful LIFE. Who wants their child to be just a memory? I think they hear things on television or in the movies and they just repeat them, never thinking what the meaning is.