Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not Enough...

It's been three years since I walked out the door of the Cowman's life.  It's been two years since I scattered his ashes on the mountain side over looking the high valley that he loved.

Will I always feel I failed him, probably. But I learned a few things from that journey:

  I learned that his doctors didn't expect him to make it to thirty.  I learned that I would not accept that, and neither would he.
  I learned that after being thrown across a room, and sliding down the wall, I could get back up. That I could help him, who in the moment, didn't know it was me trying to correct the raging chemical imbalance.
    I learned to be on a first name basis with most of the paramedics, flight medics, ambulance services and hospitals in two states.  I learned that the time between the start of his reactions and their arrival was fraught with danger for all of us. 
  I learned that you can do everything right and things can still go to hell pretty darn fast. I learned that if I showed any signs of panic, it simply made things worse. 
  I learned to be prepared, I learned when and how to approach a situation, and to always know where my kids were in a given moment.
  I learned that I could be dead asleep and still feel a slight body temperature change, as long as I kept one hand on him.  I learned that it was a heck of a lot more mentally comfortable to wear jammies if there were going to be four paramedics in the room with us.  

In the end, I learned that I couldn't save him from himself or his disease.   But damn, it's hard feeling that I failed him.  It's hard to know that my try, my desire, and my love weren't enough...


  1. From what I read I cannot believe that you failed him, Brighid. Sometimes, every damn thing you have and give is just not enough. And that is not the trier and giver and lover's fault. Someday you will come to know that you gave all that you had 'til there was nothing left and you will feel OK about it. It has only been two years. That is still very early in the bereavement process.

  2. I suspect that your love was more than enough.

    Now convincing YOU that it was the case is another matter all together.

    It's important to forgive yourself even if forgiveness is completely unnecessary.

  3. Concur with LL; and no, you are no different than others who've done their best and it was overcome by events. THAT is not your fault then, now or ever...

  4. One of the worst things in life I've learned is that I really can't fix other people no matter how much I love them or how much they'd want to be helped. I'd bet you did everything you could. Don't punish yourself for something you had no control over.

  5. Celia said it very well. Somethings just can't be corrected. As we say in the Serenity Prayer,
    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference."
    Something I remind myself of regularly.

  6. NELLY: Thanks for the kind words.
    LL: Why did I think none of the men would comment? Mia Culpa. Posting this was a step in letting go of some of the pain for me.
    OLDNFO: Your last sentence echos the oft spoken words of my MIL. I didn't take them to heart at the time, but I'm working on it.
    CELIA: It has been a Hard Lesson, and I'm not totally there yet!
    APATTI: Thanks. I've always thought the rest of that prayer was the better part...
    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, Not as I would have it;

    Trusting that He will make all things
    Right if I surrender to His will;

    That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

    —— Reinhold Niebuhr

  7. All we can do is all we can do. Lu and I send you our love and will be saying a healing prayer for you.

  8. Prayers and healing your way.

  9. SIX: Trying to look at it that way. Thanks for the love & prayers, can never have too much of either.
    SUERTE: Thank you Sir, appreciate it.

  10. You didn't fail him, just know you gave all you had to him. The healing was not to be in your hands. As Nelly says it is still early days. Give it time.

  11. After reading this post, my own view based on your words, is that there was nothing you could do to save him from Himself.

    It's probably time to take care of Yourself, which it appears that you are doing.

    Life is very short. Enjoy yourself, your family, your animals, and anything else that brings a smile.

  12. GM: My impatience to resolve this in my own mind, is slowly abating...
    CHERI: It is true, smiling thru...