Thursday, 8 October 2015

Four Years

Four years ago we had to say goodbye to Noah.  It was the moment we had thought about for ten years, as we always knew that Noah wouldn't live for very long, but even though it was something we probably thought about every day, we still weren't really prepared for it.  We still expected that Noah would once again surprise the doctors and would get well enough for us to take home.  But deep down we also knew that this time it was different. It was the first time he had been in ICU and it was the first time they had ever put a breathing tube in to breath for him. 

As that very long, but also very short week in ICU went on, we knew that things weren't looking good, but were still holding onto the hope that Noah would get well.  I am so glad that Aaron was able to take that whole week off work so that we could spend that time together - just the three of us. We had visitors during the week, and the boys would come down and visit with family and friends, but it was a special week just being to concentrate on Noah together.  Whenever Noah had been in hospital before that, it was close to home, so it meant that one of us would stay in hospital with him, while the other one would take the other boys home for the night.  Because ICU was two hours from home, we didn't have that option, and in lots of ways it was a blessing as it meant the three of us could be together.

Every day is hard without Aaron and Noah, but anniversaries are particularly hard.  I always find that the days leading up to the anniversaries of their death and their birthdays, are harder than the actual day.  This year I've been feeling a lot stronger than other years.  For me it has gotten easier as the years have gone on, and I don't really focus on the date very much, but was aware that October was coming up, so just made sure that we kept busy in the lead up to today.

Even though it's easier in some ways, it's also harder in other ways.  I have found that the grief isn't so raw anymore, but the days are very long and lonely, and it's hard to imagine how I'm going to get through the next forty or fifty years without Aaron and Noah around. 

It's crazy to think that just four years ago my days and nights were consumed with cuddling Noah, medications, dealing with seizures, appointments, admissions to hospital, lifting him, suctioning, doing physio and trying to give my boys time as well.  When he passed away a huge hole was left in our lives and hearts, and we found ourselves with so much time, but not wanting it. 

We couldn't believe how 'easy' life was without Noah in that we no longer had to watch the clock all day to give feeds or medications. But even though it was easy in that way, it was harder than it had ever been, as we had to learn to live without him.  We wondered why people complain that they have no time to do anything, and kept commenting on how easy people's lives are when they don't have someone to care for.  Of course I know that is not the truth, but at the time we just didn't know what to do with all the time we now had on our hands.

Now it's hard to remember at times how life was four years ago.  Because we live in a house that Aaron and Noah never lived in, it's hard to imagine them here.  Our lives are so different now, and it feels like so long ago that they were here, but also like they just left a little while ago.  A couple of weeks ago I was telling someone that I became a widow almost four years ago, and I felt like saying 'four years is like four's still hard'.  But to a stranger I wonder whether four years sounds like a long time.  It is a long time, but when I think about how many more years I need to live without them, I get overwhelmed with how I'm going to do it.

I guess that the only way I know how to do it, is to continue to take it day by day.  There are times when I don't want to leave the house, and want to hide from the world, and there are times when I know that is going to make things worse. So for anniversaries I have made sure that we always go out and do something to keep busy, and to have fun together.  We are lucky that Noah and Aaron's death anniversaries both fall during school holidays.

I had been keeping my eye on the weather forecast all week, and was happy to see that today was going to be sunny.  It's definitely not really warm enough to hang out at the beach very much just yet, but I didn't care.  I find the beach so therapeautic, so today we headed to the beach.

Harri and Kobe were in heaven as they played footy on the beach all day, and were brave (or silly!) enough to get in the water. 

We decided to go to a beach where we could take Milly.  I always feel so guilty when we are on holidays, if we go out and leave her at home all day.  Who would've thought I would plan my day around a dog!   She was also loving it.

I asked Jalen to take a photo of me and Milly together, and she was supposed to be looking at the camera, but kept licking me! Yuck!

Harri, Kobe and I LOVE the beach and could stay for hours and hours, but Jay hates it.  He's sure he must be adopted as he's so different to the other boys, in so many ways!  Other than taking Milly for a walk, he was happy to stay in the tent (out of the small breeze!) the whole time we were there.  It's like he's allergic to the sun and sand ;)

Before we left we wrote Noah's name in the sand. 

Kobe was so keen to write his own message and wrote: 'Noah King anniversary 4 years ago'.  He often asks me to tell him how Noah died, as he can't really remember it, which is a good thing.  But it makes me sad to know that he doesn't really remember Noah.  We talk about Noah and Aaron all the time though, so he feels like he knows them.

We were at the beach for about four hours, and it was such a lovely day. 

When we got back to town we grabbed some helium balloons, and went up to the cemetery. 
It was lovely to see photos of my friend Simone's family with balloons for Noah, while they were interstate.
She also dropped in a beautiful bunch of flowers and a lovely card for us.
When I was asking the boys what they wanted to do for Noah's anniversary, Harri said we should go to Hogs Breath for tea. It was a good way to finish off the day. 

I hope that Noah and Aaron were side stepping together today.  We love and miss them both so much.

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