Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My beloved Akif - 3 years on

"This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many things. I never knew there were so many different ways to say goodbye..." ~ Maggie Stiefvater

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Yesterday, my angel Akif would have been 3, had he been here with me and Airiel.

I share the chronicles of my struggle so that mothers who have lost their child, either due to hydrops or in any other way, know that they are not alone. 

I tell this story so that all mothers know that as mothers you can bleed with all that gaping wound the child you lost have left in his/her wake, but also in that grief and pain you bleed, you can bleed love and grace.

I am much much better 3 years on. Most days I function great. Being busy does really help. And I think its important that as mothers/fathers who are struggling from the loss of their child busy themselves.

It is more of the triggers that usually get to me, like that sofa seat in Dr. Cafe in Citta Mall facing the window where I would always sit at in the mornings (having been away from work for 4 months) counting heartbeats to make sure that Akif was alive for another day. Like that white honda car (Stevie, I call it) which I drove to the hospital with Nenda in the passenger seat and Airiel on her lap, she was crying all the way to the hospital. I sold the car after that, I just couldn't bear the flashbacks. Like that moment, half awake in surgery I knew the doctors took Akif out of me and I could not hear a cry. Like when I see another baby wearing that exact baby shirt I bought for him which I eventually gave away. Like when I accidentally see one of my flowy tops I kept in my closet which I would wear all the time while I was carrying him (3 years on and I still can't bear throwing it out, sigh - will do it soon). Like that moment when Bonda told me that Atok carried Akif on his lap all the way to the cemetery. Like the moment I got discharged from the hospital and they gave me Akif's dead body tag, morgue tag and his post-natal ICU ward tag which they put on him while he was fighting for his life.

The list is endless..

So I will be going about my normal day, and I would see certain things that triggers the memory and everything will play out like a 3D movie screening, and I would be reeling from it. It feels like a stab sometimes, most times like a punch to the chest, where you have all the wind knocked out of you. Yes, pretty much like that.

I do not know the 5 stages of grief, or where I am at with it, or whether I would ever be out of it. I do not know what is normal or considered normal. This is my normal, and I am happy with that. 

I realise that family support is extremely important, but while it helps, only I can deal with my grief and help myself out of it. My family have thankfully and mercifully (I might add), left me alone to deal at the times they know I am not up to being pleasant. Sometimes I forget that while I have lost a son, Bonda has lost her nephew, that Nenda and Atok have lost their grandson, that I suffer yes, but so do they, and they feel a pain which I know not of. 

The recovery is ongoing, but I am thankful for what I do have (on most days).

Deep down in my heart I have a regret that all mothers have, that wish that there was something more they could have done, that maybe if I tried harder, I could have saved him, that maybe if I did something different, things would not turn out the way it did. I am only human, sigh.

Some pain and experiences in our lives dulls us, numbs us. But Akif, he CHANGED me. And I was never the same since.

You made me strong angel child. You made me understand how it feels to yearn for someone, how to fight for something you believe in. You made me understand the power and will within us, and that there are powers which are beyond. You made me understand hope. You made me understand pain and overcome it. You made me understand...

You made me understand love, and how sometimes to love means to let go.

And I love you so. And so I let you go.

Follow Akif's journey here.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

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