Monday, February 16, 2009

The Difference a Day Makes

I guess the best way to describe my mood yesterday afternoon was toxic. I felt a ton of negativity, and after reading my entry from yesterday, it showed. In the past, I probably would have apologized for floating that message out there for public consumption, but sharing my feelings actually served its purpose. I almost immediately felt relief from the oppressive feelings that held me in their grip, and I felt like I could get through them after a few difficult hours. Grieving is hard and unpredictable, and when I feel the upsurge of emotion, I remind myself of a line from one of Peter's favorite books: I can't go around it, I can't go over it, I can't go under it...I have to go through it! On my next entry, I will share how our family celebrated Peter's birthday with a modified polar bear swim with a group of people who have been very supportive of our family over the past two years. It really helped us honor Peter in a fun way without letting the obvious sadness of not having him here spoil the joy.


Rick Huggins said...


I found your blog a few days ago and read it from start to finish. I can't even pretend to understand the challenges you and your family have faced and the pain you've felt. But, as I'd expect, your strength shows through, vibrantly. Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts with all of us. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.


Kathy said...

I found your blog while searching for information on polar bears.

You don't know me, but I lost my 4-year old niece to a brainstem anaplastic astrocytoma in 1996. She was diagnosed while I was pregnant with my oldest son, now 14.

7 years after her death, the son I carried in my womb when she was diagnosed, was diagnosed himself with a supratentorial PNET in 2003, he is now almost 5 years post treatment and is doing well.

I am so terribly sorry to hear about your son, and I'm glad you are finding an outlet for your grief in writing about it.

I was terribly bitter after my son's diagnosis for quite a while and I found myself unable to discuss it, even with close friends, so I wrote copiously about our experiences during treatment.

Upon finding your blog, I find some interesting coincidences. Your journal entry "Difficult Anniversaries" was posted on the 13th anniversary of my niece's death.

I am also very interested to know the origin of the title of your blog, Petting the Polar Bear. My son is an avid wildlife fan and for his Make-A-Wish trip we traveled to Manitoba on the Hudson Bay and took a tundra buggy tour and saw the polar bears in their natural habitat firsthand.

My son actually got to pet a polar bear, he was one of the bears who had entered the town of Churchill, ending up in the back yard of their minister, and they put him into polar bear jail for 3 weeks. In preparation for transporting him back to the wild, the 1500-lb bear was tranquilized with a short-acting tranquilizer and my son and I both got to pet him before they transported him back to thw wild, his eyes were open and moving:

Grief is a long journey that will never be truly finished until Peter runs into your arms again on the other side of the veil. Although the journey is fraught with twists and turns and valleys, there are times when you will sit on the mountaintops.

I wish you well, my friend.

Patty said...

It is perfectly normal to feel that way. I find great comfort in your written words. I don't know what it feels like to lose a child, but I do know about losing a parent. I am sure they are not the same but nevertheless I know about the dark clouds, and of being pulled in many different directions, work, family, church all the while trying to keep a stiff upper lip and a smile. Thank you for putting into words what I often feel.