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Sad Valentine's Day

A place for those bereaved to receive and offer support

Sad Valentine's Day

Postby heatherbbb » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:17 pm

by heatherbbb (603 Posts), Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:17 pm

I am always sad as we approach Valentine's Day. Six years ago my husband did something very uncharacteristic for him. He booked a suprise stay at a 5 star hotel for us for Feb 13th to celebrate Valentine's Day. He wanted to cheer me up. Instead of going to the hotel, we cancelled so we could take our son off the ventilator he had been on for 5 1/2 months. We got home from the hospital at about 11 p.m. the night before Valentine's Day and we just felt so empty. Six years later, life is easier. The pain stays in the background most of the time. But I still feel sad when I start to see all the hearts go up. People ask how we will celebrate the V day. Celebrate? I think not. We will go to Seth's grave.

Here is a memorial I wrote 4 years ago. There are not many posts on taking your child off of life support. I wanted others to know that I have been through it and still feel I made the very best decision I could for my son. I thought those who have been through this would relate.

Two years ago, we made a decision. Not a decision to let Seth live or let Seth die. A Higher One than us made that decision. We were able to make the decision of how Seth's last moments would be. Would they be moments of panic, fear, surrounded by strangers in the middle of the night? Was he to suffer more and more pic lines, Ivs, needles, blood draws, more being pinned down for 40 minutes every day so a respiritory tech could peal the tape from his face and administer more tape to hold the ventilator tube in place, higher ventilation settings that were shredding his lungs? No, we couldn't make the decision to save his life. We made the decision of how his last hours would be. The nurses gave him medications to keep him as comfortable as possible. We got our own room, Tim, Seth, and I. I held Seth in my arms as the doctor removed the ventilator tube. Seth opened his eyes and looked at me as if to say thank you. He had been trying to remove that tube for months, sometimes successfully. Those sucessful times had always been filled with panic for him and us. They were always followed by doctors and nurses running and the reinsertion of a tube, not a good experience for Seth. This time was different. This time it was peaceful. Seth opened his eyes, took about 5 breaths, then his breathing stopped and his eyes closed. I felt his spirit leave his body then, but his presence stayed with us. His heart continued to beat for 45 minutes. He fought to the very end, just as he had for the previous 5 1/2 months. For 5 months, my prayers had not been answered in the way that I had asked. Heavenly Father gave us those 5 1/2 months, but not a lifetime in this mortal existence. The last two weeks I had begun to ask for guidance. God answered those prayers. He gave me the wisdom, the strength, the courage, and the compassion to do the best thing I could do for my son. To end his suffering which no longer served any purpose and give him the most loving and peaceful passing he could have. I thank God that 2 years later I know that I did the right thing. I thank God that I had a husband that agreed and supported my decisions. I thank God for those 5 1/2 months of love, memories, photos, and videos. I thank God for Seth. I thank God for Seth's beautiful little brother who recently turned 1. I look forward to being reunited with Seth in the life to come.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby heather j » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:25 pm

by heather j (4883 Posts), Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:25 pm

I remember reading this when you originally wrote it. I have tears in my eyes now as I did then. What a beautiful tribute to your sweet baby Seth. Thinking of you.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby leeann34 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 00:08 am

by leeann34 (137 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 00:08 am


I was very touched reading what you wrote about your son Seth. I can relate and empathize to your situation. This past September my husband and I had to make the same decesion with our baby daughter. We named her Olivia. It is one of the hardest decisions a parent will ever have to make. My husband and I held on just like our daughter did..... for almost three months hoping and praying she would get better. I have never felt so empty and heartbroken in all my life. The day Olivia passed away I got to hold her to my chest and cuddle her without her ventilator tube in. I wanted her last moments to be peaceful and I wanted her to be in her mother's arms, my arms,when she left us. I go back to those last moments I had with her and I remember her sweet little face with her little button nose and how much we both loved her. She is forever in our hearts and like you, I can't wait until one day we are reunited. Sometimes, I wonder if we made the right decision, but I know in my heart, we made it in Olivia's best interests. We made the hardest decision parents could ever let our daughter go so she would not live a life of suffering and pain. I know how you feel and the road you have traveled. It helps enormously to hear others stories that are similiar to mine. Thank you for sharing your story.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby kara » Fri Feb 12, 2010 02:59 am

by kara (6614 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 02:59 am

Thank you ladies for sharing the most personal moments of your lives. Countless others will benefit from you sharing your precious babies stories with us.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby l412angel » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:19 am

by l412angel (1746 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:19 am

Heather I have goosebumps! Thank you so much for that beautiful story! Im so sorry you had to make that decision. I cannot imagine. I will be thinking of you on saturday!
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby annes » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:50 am

by annes (2527 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:50 am

(((Heather))) I will be thinking about you, dh and your precious baby Seth this weekend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts again, they will help others dealing with decisions they have made, and hopefully help them have some peace with those decisions.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby beiram » Fri Feb 12, 2010 01:47 pm

by beiram (27 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 01:47 pm

Heather, thank you so much for sharing the memorial you wrote for your son Seth. It brought tears to my eyes. As a matter of fact, I felt like I couldn't breath for a second as I kept reading. So many memories came back to my mind. I went through the exact same thing with my baby boy who passed away after fighting for 10 months. It is heartbreaking to see how much pain these little ones have to endure for being born so early, and yet feeling so helpless. The joy of being a parent is completely taken away when you watch your child suffering that much.
I can say that both my husband and I are in peace with our decision of taking him off of life support because as you said, someone Higher than us had already made the desicion of what his path would be. We just had a saying on how to give him the most loving and peaceful passing he could have. And it truly was peaceful. I also thank God that 2 years later we know that we did the right thing. So I know how you feel, and for that I'll be thinking of you and your sweet Seth tomorrow.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby shierman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 03:43 pm

by shierman (151 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 03:43 pm

The tears are streaming down my face as I type this. Thank you so much for sharing that with us- what a wonderful tribute of love for Seth and statement of God's grace. I am confident that you both be reunited with Seth someday- and what an incredible day that will be!
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby for faith » Fri Feb 12, 2010 05:45 pm

by for faith (1749 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 05:45 pm

Heather - Thanks for sharing that again, I so had so many of those same feelings and I know that this will touch many......sending many hugs to you, thinking of you and Seth.
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Re : Sad Valentine's Day

Postby angieb » Fri Feb 12, 2010 06:43 pm

by angieb (1194 Posts), Fri Feb 12, 2010 06:43 pm

I'm sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you this weekend.
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