Today is a day I’ll always remember as a haze. As a day when I hadn’t slept in 48 hours, and I didn’t care.
I was stuck in Kuwait trying to get home to a child who was hooked up to a machine.
A machine that was providing life to my daughter through electrical impulses generating air. Air that was being pumped into her lungs because she could not breathe on her own.
Two years ago today, I wondered around the military base in Kuwait, trying to find a pair of pants because you can’t fly on a commercial flight in uniform from Kuwait.
Finding pants was hard, but focusing on finding pants was even harder. With each person I walked past all I could think about was, “Why is it my child that’s sick? Why couldn’t it be that person’s child?” Of all the people in the world, how was it my child that was hooked to a machine?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is real. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, but I know one thing: it’s not only associated with combat or violent actions.
Watch: TV presenter Paul Murray speaks about the heartbreak of losing his newborn son. (Post continues after video.)
For the last two years, I’ve viewed myself as a grieving parent. A dad who lost a child. I have carried this burden around, internalised it, and let it take a major toll on my body and my mind.
I’ve written about the loss of my daughter time and again in hopes that it would ease the pain.
In some ways it has. In others, I feel it’s only poured salt on the wound.
Not to say I want to forget anything about her or the thirty days we spent lying next to her bed in the hospital. I would never wish that on myself, nor could it ever happen (I pray every day I can somehow escape the perils of Alzheimer’s).