Friday, March 20, 2020

Living Sheridan's Way

The following is an excerpt from my book draft, "Sheridan's Way". I share it on the 6th anniversary of her passing, as the writing of it has brought me peace and healing.

"At around 10 p.m. on March 20th, 2014, I had finished reading to Sheridan for the night (her newest book was Divergent), and was sitting quietly in our room in PICU. It was exactly 3 weeks since she had entered the hospital. She was off of life support, and the plan was a scheduled move to Phoenix the following day for rehab. I was thinking about that, over and over in my mind, knowing she would never again be the person we all knew. I knew that she would hate being alive, trapped in a body that no longer worked, that she would hate me for it. And as I held her hand and wept, the silence was suddenly broken by the sound of alarms going off...and then nurses and doctors began flooding the room. I heard their voices as if from a distance...telling me....what? Someone said she had stopped breathing...did I want them to trach her again...what did I want to do..... And in that moment, I had complete clarity. I knew. Sheridan had made HER choice. She knew I couldn't, so she made it for me. She had her own plan. And with a calmness that came from the deepest place of love, I told them to stop. "Please stop. Enough. She has had enough". After 3 weeks of fighting, I knew my little girl was tired. That this was her choice. To be free from a broken body....and in my heart I believed that she was already free...

I called my son in Phoenix to see how quickly he could get there, but my strength faltered and I gave the phone to her nurse. The doctor was giving her shots of adrenalin to keep her heart beating, while l waited for family and friends to arrive at the hospital. We finally gathered around her in the early morning of Friday, March 21st. As I laid down next to her and held her one last time, I told her how very much I loved her. I thanked her for letting me be her mom. I told her that it was okay to go, that I would be okay. It still feels surreal, as it did then. And in the last moments, I suddenly pushed myself from the bed, not able to bear it. I ran down the hallway...and yet I knew the moment she took her last earthly breath, because it felt like someone had ripped away half of my soul....

My beautiful baby girl gave me the greatest gift that night. I couldn't let her go. I couldn't make that decision. So she did it herself. Sheridan did it her way, just as she always had. It was always Sheridan's way. She was and continues to be my greatest teacher."

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Living Sheridan's Way

The following is an excerpt from my book draft, "Sheridan's Way". I share it on the 6th anniversary of her passing, as the wri...