A week ago today, I was sitting in the hospital having just learned that my baby boy was about to pass away. Seeing him hooked to all those tubes and watching his body slowly die was by far the most traumatic thing I have ever seen in my entire life. We buried him a few days ago and ever since I have been trying to cope with the idea of living without my little Prince. I keep looking for him everywhere and everything around me reminds me of him. For those who don’t know what this sort of trauma is like, here are the phases I have gone through in the past week.
1) Shock: When the doctor told me that my son would not survive, it felt as if time stopped. My brain was literally incapable of processing the information I was hearing. I had been in hospitals with Prince before, but every time we came to the hospital I left with Prince in my arms expected to make a full recovery. This time, I knew that I would leave this hospital without my son and this was a reality that I could not process.
2) Pain: As the doctor placed Prince’s lifeless body in my arms, I was still sure that if I just spoke to him he would wake up and the doctor would claim it had been a miracle. This, however, didn’t happen. As I spoke to him and sung into his ear, he still remained lifless and his eyes staired at me completely blank. Realizing Prince was truely gone, sent a sharp pain through my entire body. I sat there and cried as if I had no control of my body.
3) Despair: While I held Prince in my arms, I cried, “please don’t leave me Prince- please don’t leave Mama. I love you so much.” The hospital chaplain prayed as I begged God to bring my son back to me. I knew, however, Prince had gone before he had arrived at the hospital.
4) Guilt: As the reality set in, I immediately started to second guess every decision I had made in the days leading up to that moment. Mainly, my decision not to cancel the visitation with Prince’s father. While I knew I had a court order to follow, I was still painfully aware of the fact that if I had gone against the court order my son would still be alive. I couldn’t stop thinking about the look Prince gave me as I put him in the carseat and sent him away to his father.
5) Anger: This emotion was late to arrive and comes and goes in waves. I have fought for 15 months to save my son. Everyone from the courts to my own attorneys treated me like I was crazy for being so afraid of Luc killing Prince. I was so angry for all the terrible things people said to me and how the courts didn’t allow me to follow my maternal instincts.
In the past week, I have filtered through all of these emotions on a near constant cycle. It’s painful and its exhausting. I am feeling these things and all the while searching for my son and listening for his voice. It is impossible to turn off your motherly instincts when your child passes away. My mind races around in circles as I no longer have to focus on a toddler and keeping that toddler save.
I told people I would have been happy if I lived the rest of my life with just me and Prince forever. We didn’t get that chance. Because of who my son’s father is (or what he is), the courts denied him his basic civil right to life. I’m in shock, pain, despair…I feel guilt…and I am angry.