Closure with Hospital People
Sunday, November 08, 2020
About a month ago, I got an e-mail from Danny's oncologist, who got transferred from the hospital where Danny was treated, to a new position in another city. She had been contacted by someone at Danny's hospital asking how to reach me. The hospital was planning a remembrance service for parents/families of all the pediatric patients who had died this year, and wanted to ask me if I would like Danny to be included. (I have no idea why they couldn't reach me; they certainly have all my contact info, which hasn't changed.)
I called the lady back and said yes, I did want to include Danny. The service was held on October 30th, at noon, outside the hospital on one of the lawns. Henry and I had a huge hassle getting there, because the visitor's center was swamped and we weren't warned we might have to wait over an hour. I got there 45 minutes early, and that wasn't enough. Very frustrating.
So I was late for the ceremony, but at least I got there for some of it. The chaplain gave a talk, and the names of all the children who had died were read out loud. I missed some earlier stuff. Then we were each given a butterfly in a kind of envelope with a flap folded over. When he told us to carefully open the flap part way, my butterfly took off, way before it was supposed to. It must not have liked me. ;-) It was pretty when many of the butterflies took off at once.
Henry, who arrived at the visitor's center after I did, missed the entire ceremony. We were both pretty annoyed at the woman in charge. She even told the chaplains to start the ceremony, that everyone who had RSVP'd was there - totally forgetting about Henry and me. She apologized later, but I was still pretty angry. What are we, chopped liver? We were the only ones who had to go through the visitor's center, and she was the one who arranged our passes - and then she forgot all about us.
But I digress. After the ceremony, I thanked the chaplain who had helped me with a difficult situation when Danny was in the hospital. Then Henry and I went in the hospital, and I was able to visit the bank teller (my bank has a branch in the hospital), whom I had become friends with through the years of Danny's treatments and hospitalizations. Whatever banking I had to do, I did with her. She also lost a son, years ago; the pain never goes away. She didn't know about Danny's death, because he died during the lockdown, when the branch was closed. I told her he had died, and how much I appreciated her kindness, and goodbye, since I won't be able to go back there. We were both crying.
Then we went up to the clinic, and I was able to thank Dr. Padial and three of the clinic nurses in person, for the care they had given Danny, for their kindness, and for their coming to Danny's memorial service. Dr. Howell was on the ward, and didn't come back to the clinic while we were there. She was the only one I didn't get to thank in person. I did speak to them a bit after the memorial service, but I was frazzled and distracted at the time, and while I talked briefly to someone else, they left. So I really wanted to come to the clinic to have a chance to chat with them again, and to say goodbye. They were always so good to Danny.
I finally had the closure I had wanted. I was so very grateful.