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From Holding On To Letting Go


11/13/2009



"Sometimes just holding hands is holding on to everything." -Unknown

Today marks one month since we last held our beautiful little boy as he slowly slipped away from us. I think October 13th will always be a day engraved on our hearts and minds as the most devastating day of our lives. That morning was one we will never forget. As I begin the process of recounting certain stories on this website, I want to be especially careful when it comes to sharing details that are meant to only be privately treasured amongst our children and ourselves. There is a certain sacredness of witnessing someone's journey from birth to death and as a mother, I take the responsiblity of knowing when to share and not to share parts of Jaymun's story quite seriously.

Since the day Jaymun was born, his medical care became the center of our lives. We have tried to include the rest of the children in many areas of his care so that they have always felt they played a huge part in shaping his life. I don't think it would have been possible for Jaymun to have grown up to be as happy as he was without the help of his siblings. They have sacrificed countless social activities and extracurricular events to allow their parents more freedom to make sure Jaymun received the best possible medical treatment he could. They never once complained, never once begrudged their baby brother the attention he needed and to my knowledge never resented the commitment he required on our behalf just to keep him alive.

When Jaymun was admitted to the ICU and it was becoming clear that his condition was gravely serious, I sat them all down and gently had a conversation with them about their choices should Jaymun become even sicker and not make it. The decision was unanimous amongst them: they were adamant about wanting to be with him all the way to the end, even though it meant emotionally they would have to be witness to what could only be a truly scary experience. Their decision didn't surprise me as their mom. They have all adored Jaymun since he was born and to them, family means sticking out the tough times together, no matter what.

I wanted so badly to make sure that they were all able to make it down to the hospital with enough time to say goodbye to him. They deserved that and it weighed heavily on my heart whether I would be able to coordinate things to make it happen. If nothing else, I remain grateful that we were able to spend Jaymun's last day together as a family, all gathered around him, comforting one another and finding strength in the fact that none of us were alone. Each of his siblings was able to hold him one last time, something they had not been able to do for weeks.

No matter how "prepared" you may think you are for what is going to happen, events never completely unfold they way you envision them. I always had hoped that Jaymun would have been able to be at home amongst familiar surroundings, without tubes and wires and machines hooked up to him. I hadn't wanted weeks upon weeks of suffering to precede his death, but it wasn't to be.

I prayed that I could hold him in my arms at the end and be able to whisper my love for him as he quietly drifted away. Just as I had been the one to bring my baby into the world, I wanted to be the one to snuggle him one last time, making sure he knew his mama was there as he left it. I am thankful to say that my prayer was granted.

I believe that if Jaymun had been aware of what was going on, if he had known that all of his most favorite people in the world were gathered around him to say goodbye and kiss his chubby face one last time, I believe that he would have smiled as he looked around at each face in the room and he would have drifted off peacefully knowing that heaven was simply one final breath away. I can't be sure what he was aware of in his unconscious state, but I do believe he felt safe as he was handed from one mother's arms to another Father's embrace. I wonder if he knows now how much we desperately wanted to hold on to him forever and how heartbroken we were to realize that the only way we could do that was by letting him go...

We miss you, Jaymun. Forever and ever.

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