Tomorrow is one year since Olivia died. I feel like I should share something. I’m not sure if it’s because I need to share, or if it’s because I feel obligated to say something… honor Olivia… to honor our experience. Our pain. Our love for her. I don’t know. I’ll just keep typing…
I shared pretty regular updates during Olivia’s life, and continued pretty regularly for about 9 months after her death. The past 3 months I haven’t shared much. I’ve been angry. Depressed. Tired. Sick of the need to say meaningful things, knowing I do it mostly to comfort myself; to help me see the meaning in all of it. Keep typing…
I have nothing meaningful to say. I have nothing inspiring to say.
I wouldn’t change anything. I’m sure of that. I’m not angry that Olivia had a disease. I’m not even angry that she died. To be honest, I’m most angry that I missed her last breath. I was on a bike ride with the kids. Ok, that’s what I’m going to type…
… Olivia was extra sick for a few days. I’d stayed up most of the night on the 10th with her while she puked up any food I tried to feed her. I just wanted her to sleep. I wanted to sleep so bad. She seemed more sick than usual.
The next day I felt extra anxious. In my anxiousness, I tried to re-arrange the cupboards, which was annoying Heather. Heather suggested I take the kids on a bike ride - it was unusually warm for March 11th. I loaded the kids up and we took ride to a park. Then to another park. They asked if we could ride even farther, to an ice cream shop a couple more miles away. On our way there Heather called and said Livie was acting weird and that the nurse said to give her morphine, which we had in the fridge for emergencies, but had never used. I felt weird about it, but decided it was nothing. She asked if I wanted to come home, but we were so close to the ice cream shop, we decided to keep going.
We had ice cream. I remember feeling so anxious. So unsettled. Everything felt surreal. I knew something was going on. When we were a mile away from home I got a call from Heather’s friend, Monica. “She stopped breathing. Do you want me to come pick you up?” I said no - we were almost there.
We rode so fast. Jude knew too. I think he could sense it. We were flying. I was struggling to see through the tears.
We pulled up and Monica took the kids. It’s just a blur, from my bike in the front yard to the back porch door. I ran so fast.
Heather was there with Olivia. I’ll never forget that moment. I felt pain and sadness, obviously. I also felt like we just crossed a finish line we didn’t see coming. We both kept telling each other, it’s finished.
We did it. Olivia did it.
I miss Olivia so much. But I wouldn’t change how any of it went. Except, I would have liked to have been there for her last breath. That part doesn’t sit well.
Tomorrow we’ll spend the day with a few close friends and family remembering Olivia. Celebrating who she is, and what she did. I’m sure it’ll be a hard day, and probably a very good one too. Hard and good - just like the last couple of years.