Monday, June 1, 2009

It's time. Read at your own risk.

A friend and I were talking and suddenly she said "Mike Tyson's daughter died" I did a quick search and found the story-at the same time that she(my friend) revealed further details of the accident that resulted in that poor girl's death. I can't even begin to imagine what that family is going through and believe me-my heart is with them. Our conversation(my friend's and mine)became a little strained as I tried to share what was actually a funny and pleasant memory. After a few minutes awkwardness we ended our conversation.

The following is the letter(email)that I wrote and sent to her in an effort to explain what I had been trying to say.

Maggie did not die in a fashion similar to Mike Tyson's daughter. It had nothing to do with exercise equipment at all.

We had been to see Derek's brother and his family just a week before Maggie died and while we were there she wanted desperately to get on their treadmill and we would not let her because she was not big enough.

Mike Tyson's story made me think of that is all.

Maggie came down with croup late on a Thursday(her 3rd birthday) and Friday we took her to our doctor. There is nothing really to do about it and as he said 99.99% of children recover with no complications.

Late Friday night/early Saturday morning Derek took her into a hot shower so the steam would ease her breathing-it had been working for us all day. However when she got out of the shower she simply stopped breathing. I did infant cpr and D called 911. It took 12 minutes for them to get there and in that time Maggie's throat had seized/spasmed from her jaw to her chest and no air was going in or out for several minutes. She was immediately placed in the ambulance and actually died in it-ironically enough it caused her throat to relax and they were able to resuscitate her to a certain extent. They worked on her for I don't know how long in the ER and with who knows how much drugs were able to get her heart beating again and a machine breathing for her.

Maggie was moved to infant ICU and though they almost lost her again on the way up, she "stabilized" and our families were able to drive/fly in to be with us and see her warm and "breathing" one last time-or in the case of my father for the first time.

It was obvious and became more so over the weekend that our sweet Maggie was indeed gone and her body was experiencing the beginnings of multiple organ failure. The EEG that was performed Monday morning was conclusive. Not even a bit of static showed up on that damn test. The doctors approached us about the possibility of organ donation and we were unable to accommodate their wishes. We knew that we would have to make the decision to turn off the machines that were keeping her chained here and wanted-no-we needed to be present and hold her during our last goodbyes.

The machines were turned off and she was disconnected from them as she lay cradled in our arms. Holding her, sad and grieving, we felt that last little bit of her leave. Just like that the last bit of her presence was gone and she was free to move on to her next adventure.

We are still sad, we still grieve. I am sobbing and snotty as I write this but it is no ones fault.

Shit happens.

(blowing my nose),


Her reply(edited for privacy) I'll share with you too.

Brook (this made me cry)

It seems that I know you well enough somehow to know that it is "just like you" to write me (about this - something that was horrific for you to go through) so that I understand that I didn't "upset you" in anyway.

You are a dear - and I'm glad you shared this with me.

Don't worry about me - I know when things come up and people feel "just awful" they usually don't get that it's "ok".

Not that I've been in your shoes - but family death/illness. I know about those.

Shit does happen.

Please do write about this in your blog. For you, but also for others. Somewhere out there, there's a mom that needs to hear what you just wrote me - for her own healing.

I'm serious. After I was attacked it wasn't therapy that helped me the most, it was BLOGS! Other people's similar stories.

I know I'm not the only one who does this.


(My Friend)

Thank you my friend for giving me a way to share this. It was time.


The CEO said...

My nephew Jake died in an ambulance a few months after a failed kidney transplant. I have a cherished sock cat and a real cat to remember him by, and all of his golf shirts that I wear all of the time.

You know I believe it is healthy to talk about Maggie. Please tell your friend that whatever happened, she need to talk about it. Keeping things buried causes depression and doesn't help at all. No one stands alone. We are all scarred and beaten up. Together, with shared experiences, we are stronger. We are together, we are there for each other, we can hold our heads high. And we can do it alone after that knowing we aren't alone.


Maureen said...

Huge Hug from afar. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. I am glad that you shared, I am certain that our experiences help one another. Whether we know it or not. As humans, our hearts are not healed by putting things in the past and letting sleeping dogs lie. The knowledge that someone has been in your spot, that they were able to move forward, THAT is powerful healing! Even the strongest man needs a hand to help him up when he is down and cannot find his legs underneath him.
From what I know, Maggie was a ball of energy and she left her mark in her short life. You should celebrate those memories that you have from your time with her, and grieve the ones you'll never have. Don't feel that you have to bite your tongue to ease the 'discomfort' of another. You never know who you may be helping by sharing.
Maggie was here! She mattered! She counts!

ginstonic said...

K-man and I saw the Mike Tyson daughter story right after the accident when she was still on the respirator. The account of the resuscitation was too much like Maggie for us to hold out much hope, but we prayed the family would not have to suffer her loss. I almost called you to talk about it, but I hesitated and let the moment pass. I don't mind talking about Maggie, her life and death, even though the subject can be quite tearful, it is more poignant than painful. I guess in the sense of catharsis, I enjoy talking about her. The nature of the recounting is somewhat like discussing a difficult birth (yours comes to mind). Even so, I understand how difficult/uncomfortable it is for other people to have that conversation with us; and how hard it is to discuss it with one another. Truly the experience and emotions were, and are, as unique to each of us as we are unique and separate ourselves.
Love ya, MOM

Spellbound said...

What a beautiful child. I remember sitting in the steamy bathroom bleary eyed holding more than one child struggling for the next breath and I also remember being the child. I remember being afraid at the awful sound myown made but I also remember having no fear in my parents arms. Maggie's last memory was of being loved by you both. You did everything possible and you're right, shit happens. Maybe someday we'll understand, but in the mean time we'll just be here for each other. Love you.

Brook said...

Thanks guys.

Dark Cloud Nine said...

man, I know now why I read blogs so much....

and Brook BTW, before I knew anything about you, I could feel there was something strong and brave and beautiful about you, I said that before. But wow... was I right *patting my own back*

Anonymous said...

What can I say? As an emergency room nurse, I have had to deal with the deaths of many children. In their faces, I see the faces of my own. I have seen them die from natural causes and sadly enough at the hands of the very ones that were supposed to be protecting them. No, they weren't "My Children," but each of them touched me deeply. I have stroked their hair, murmured "I love you" into their ears, and kissed their foreheads when there was no one else to do it. With that being said, I cannot even imagine the heartache you and Derek have endured, but I feel blessed that you have shared your story. Thank You.


WanderingGirl said...

Yeah, what they said.

And just 'cause it's funny... my wv is "whingl".

Brook said...

You all are great. I was suprised how hard this letter/post was to write-how bad this day has been. Tomorrow will be better(I have exciting news)

Victoria said...

Thank you, that was really beautiful.

Maggie was such a beautiful little girl.