It's easy to direct this anger at things that don't really matter.
Like a few days after Gavin's funeral we realized that Brian's fish, "Fishie," had a bulging eye. The pet store told us he had a 50/50 chance of either losing his eye... or dying. Yes, I realize the cruel similarities to Gavin's life... and yes, I immediately thought, "Brian's fish dying is the last thing he needs right now!"... and yes, I am doing everything possible to save his eye - or at least his life... and yes, I immediately bought a "stunt Fishie" which is currently living in our bedroom in case the real Fishie doesn't make it. But I was pretty freaking mad. I don't need this. Seriously.
Like a week ago when I got an email from a woman asking if I'd like her to write a guest post on my blog so she can offer "travel tips" to my readers and offer her services. Or the woman who posted a "work at home" business on my Facebook page and, when I contacted her told me "It's a free country, bitch." These people make me angry - only looking at high numbers and making impersonal business decisions at my emotional expense. It makes me mad. It makes me feel used. And it hurts my feelings.
Like right now. I'm sitting at the car dealership. Since the funeral, I've been driving around with my dashboard lit... probably running on fumes. It was the last thing on my mind. I hate being here in the waiting room while kids play with the toys in the corner and a girl is chatting happily on the phone and people are laughing at the shared TV on the wall. I want to stand up and scream - STOP!!!!!! My little boy is dead!!!!!!! STOP IT!!!!!!!
Like back in March of 2012, when Gavin had his first febrile seizure (and only seizure until this recent one). It was the scariest experience of our lives at that time. Based on that, I created Emergency Kits for each child with instructions on what to do in case Gavin had another seizure and we weren't home. It contained his liquid Diastat and I trained everyone who would watch him how to use it. I was proud of those kits - and it made me feel better if we were to ever have an emergency in the home again. But then I found this comment under that post:
Holy cow! Can we say overboard????? Gavin had a febrile seizure from the high fevers. You just need to chill and move forward. There is NO way I could parent like you. My kids would have no life or independence.
That comment popped into my memory as I drove to the car dealership alone this morning. I started to cry... and then I got mad. I wish I knew who made this comment. I'd love to call her - or knock on her door and say, "Hi. Remember me? The Mom who went overboard after her son's first febrile seizure? Yeah... well, he had another one. And he died." And the rest of what I would WANT to say would stay safely in my mouth. Maybe.
I'm just mad.
But I know - very well - that it's misguided. I know - very well - that it's a natural part of grief. I know - very well - that it's healthy when it's healthy... and unhealthy when it's not.
I know that it won't bring Gavin back. I get that. But I'm still feeling mad. I didn't feel mad yesterday. I may not feel mad tomorrow. I'm not mad at Ed or Brian or you. (Unless you're the lady I interacted with.) I'm not mad at God. And I'm not mad at me. I'm just mad.
I think, maybe, I'm feeling pissed because I worked so hard... I was so overprotective (and proud of it)... and I tried everything to always ensure that Gavin was happy, comfortable, healthy and protected. Some things were little - like never allowing scents in our home, including detergent, so he wouldn't get a skin rash. Some things were important - like not allowing people to wear shoes in our house and asking everyone to wash their hands. I considered it to be disrespectful to walk around in dirty, germy shoes on the floor where Gavin spent most of his time crawling around. And I was proud that he (and Brian) were rarely sick. Neither of them had ear infections until just this year. And some things were big - like never leaving his side during hospitalizations and getting very involved in his medical care... down to knowing that everyone would know what to do in case of another seizure.
But in the end, I couldn't help him. I was relegated to a corner of a room as I watched in horror. In that moment it didn't matter about detergent or emergency kits or washed hands or how "comfortable" he was. I was useless in those moments. And I think that is what makes me the maddest.
Today I am mad. I don't need you to talk me out of being mad. I don't need you to worry that I'm mad. I'm just writing that I'm mad - right now - and that's okay. It just is.....
It just is.
Today when I look in the mirror, I see someone who is mad. But as I obsessively pour over the thousands of photos I've taken of Gavin... and the stack of "selfies" that I took so I would get pictures of us together... I see reflections of love.
And I'm definitely not mad about that.