We are reasonably certain that Charlotte will be passing either tonight or tomorrow. Her breathing has become erratic and everytime her breath goes down, it's a very long time before it comes back up again. Then, as we've been told would happen, she will sometimes take several breaths in a row. Then back to the slower breaths. It's odd and a little disconcerting to us but strangely peaceful.
I know that when she finally dies, I will be a mess for a while but for the most part, I can't believe how calm and accepting both Rachel and I are. At this point, we've been going through the mourning process for months and it's just time.
The word "surreal" keeps coming back over and over again. And it keeps taking on new meaning. Just lately, "surreal" is the fact that there is very little left of that all-over bodyache that has weighed me down over so much of the past year. I'm just so ready for her to be free. Almost impatient. Tell me that's not surreal. The phrase, "My daughter is going to die" is something I say to myself every now and then for the purpose of testing my grasp on reality. It still kind of jolts me but doesn't leaving me heaving on the floor like it might have before.
I still have my moments when the pipes leak and that can happen at anytime (like when Susan Greenbaum was here yesterday and sang The House At Pooh Corner at CJ's bedside. Not a dry eye in the room) but I think we have a much better grasp on things than those who haven't had the chance to be here with CJ and say their goodbyes the way they may want.
I will do this again, I'm sure, but I would like to thank everyone who has supported us through all this. Most recently, for those who have participated in the "reading vigil," it has been more successful that we ever could have imagined. This morning, The Gruffalo was read to CJ in Dutch, Skyped in from Holland by a high school friend. This afternoon, another high school friend, whom I haven't seen since 1984 or so, Skyped in from Denver (I think that's where she was). We've had many children come read and at one point yesterday, we had something like 12 people in the house. Oh yeah, and Mary Poppins showed up early this morning in her jammies! Carting coffee and scones no less.
All this together has helped us deal with the situation so much healthier than we could have otherwise. I am feeling that this is the way we, as a culture, should deal with death. It's not nice and on the surface seems so unfair that a child should have to die so young but this seems, here's the other word of the day, "healthy." At least as healthy as one could expect.
When CJ passes, we will call Noah's Children so someone can come out to pronounce her body. Then we will call Nelson Funeral Home to come get the body for cremation. Because of our amazing network, we've already started planning the memorial service. As details get sorted out, we'll let you know.
Thank you to our most amazing network and family. We love you and we feel the love you give to Charlotte and to us.
Peace and blessings...