The Day I Said Goodbye To My Son
The Darkest Day of My Life
It was the darkest day of my life. The voice on the other end of the phone only said, "Drive to the hospital...and hurry." My son Todd had been fighting cancer. As I drove by myself along the dark windy road I glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was midnight.
My thoughts were swirling around like a small whirlwind giving me a headache. What happened? Did Todd need more chemo? Was he dehydrated? Was the pain beyond what he could tolerate?
I entered the hospital greeted by a nurse who escorted me into a small room filled with 4 or 5 people and 2 police officers. I only recognized 1 person but they all looked sad. Turning to the nurse who was still at my side I asked how my son was and could I see him.
The nurse held on to me and softly spoke. "I'm so sorry - your son has passed away."
Todd's family was everything to him. He raised his 4 children alone taking on the role of both father and mother. He lived for his children teaching them integrity, patience, forgiveness, music, sports and most of all love.
The Ocean Claimed His Ashes
Your beautiful green eyes, which managed to hide so much pain. The same color as mine.
How they would light up for each of your children. They were the heart of your life.
The tears that wept for me when I was hospitalized. You could not hide your sorrow.
The dark circles beneath the tired green eyes. You worked and sacrificed much to provide for your little family.
The pain in your eyes, matching the pain in your heart as you endured each chemo treatment.
Your eyes smiling with joy. The proudest of fathers with each new birth.
Your "Lakers" shirt. You were such a big fan.
Surfing trips to Capitola Beach and snowboarding always with your children.
Every Christmas we shared. It was your favorite holiday.
Your great cooking. You invited me to dinner often
The nature walks we often took. You always included your children.
The way you loved to play your guitar. You were shy, but your talent was powerful.
Spending time at the beach and watching you surf. You taught each child to surf too.
He Loved Surfing
The sound of your voice.
The warmth of your hugs.
Your smile...it lit up the night sky.
Your handsome face.
"I love you" mom.
Hearing you sing.
Watching you garden.
The ski and snowboarding trips.
Being your mother.
I could touch you.
I could look at you once more.
Your children could have grown up with you still here.
You knew how very much I love you.
I had you back.
You didn't have to go so early in your life.
You could have been cured from cancer.
I could have saved you from pain and discomfort.
I thank you for...
The privilege of bringing you into this world.
Being a peacemaker.
Your love of family.
Being a kind, fun and very loving father.
The lessons you have taught me.
You're Still Here
You're Still Here...
With every breath I take
With every beat of my heart
You're still here...
In the eyes of your children
In every "Beachboy" song
You're still here...
In every prayer I give
In every star in the sky
You're still here...
And here you'll stay
My first born...my baby...my son.
To Where You Are
"Life is a brief intermission, between birth and death, enjoy it.
I'm Not Completely Alone
Although my firstborn is gone, I'm blessed with beautiful children, Todd's courageous, caring, siblings, who pour out their love to me in countless ways. Their strength is my strength. The joyous lives they live are my joy.
You Mother's out there, who have lost children, understand the huge hole in our hearts that remain un-fulfilled every moment of every day.
Still, we press on, through the tears, through the pain. We laugh, we smile, we do what we must to survive and appear normal. We need to talk about our loss - how we feel and we need to share our pain. But we can't because our loved ones are suffering too and we dare not add to their own grief. So, we remain strong.
It's Not Just About Me and The Pain I Carry
When I lost my son, I also lost my four grandchildren. They needed me more than ever, but it was not to be. It would be 12 years before I had quality time with them.
You see, the mother abanded her family, breaking my son's heart, and he was left to single-parent his children until his death in 2006. At this devestating time, she still refused to step up to the plate and care for her children. They were left to live with relatives through their adjustment to live the rest of their lives without a mother or father.
But here it is, years later, and my amazing grandchildren are growing into adults to become stronger and more self-reliant then ever.
I know, their father, is watching over them and so very proud of the progress they are making.
How Does One Survive The Loss of a Child?
© 2011 Audrey Hunt