10 weeks ago, Jan 14th, the day after we decided not to get induced (you can read the specifics here) , I held a dying hawk to my belly, he was not expected to live another 24 hours. I remember holding him close and feeling his amazing energy and sheer will, it was so palpable and strong. I stared at his eyes in wonder, and prayed that he would live to feel the wind through his wings again. The next day, Jan 15th we got a text from Jennifer (his caretaker and our dear friend) saying that when she woke up that morning he was standing in his cage, looking more alert and able to eat a bit easier. She was both surprised and amazed at the drastic change.
I remember thinking “I hope he gives some of that tenacious, fighting energy to my boys on their way out to meet us.” On Monday, January 16th, Jason and I went in for a check up to see how the boys were doing. They found A’s heart beat right away, but couldn’t find B’s heart beat. I remember saying to the nurse that he had turned head down and that he usually was a bit harder to find as he was always tucked behind his brother. They brought in another tech and then the doctor. My stomach dropped, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I knew my worst nightmare had come true. Looking into Jason’s eyes and hearing him say with so much intensity and focus – “Stay with me, stay with us, we are all together,” is the last thing I clearly remember. The next 40 plus hours is a blur of pain and forced focus.
These last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life. Waking up in cold sweats saying “no, no, no” over and over again, collapsing to my knees gasping for air in the middle of a workout and having to answer to people when they ask “Where is the other one?” At my last therapy session I got diagnosed with post acute trauma syndrome. At first I was a bit taken back, but then it made sense and I was both grateful and relieved to have the help. “I will do anything” I told my therapist. “Give me the necessary tools, and I will do them.”
“Tell me your story, not from the medical side but from your heart – how you see it or how you would even like to see it”
I told her about my strong feeling to wait after B had turned head down and passed all of the tests, about my anxiety about my doctor, and about how I meditated by the river and held the hawk close to my belly the next day. I told her everything that I was feeling deep down but was to scared to bring up to the surface because it wasn’t based in facts.
“I feel like I am denying myself this story.” I told her.
“What you believe deep down is REAL. The more you tell it and own it, the more it becomes yours. It is not hoo-haa, it is real. It is true.”
The next day my dear friend who understands me on many levels came to town. We went on a walk and I told her my story.
“Don’t you see it Chelsey? It is so obvious. YOU gave Spirit B the best passing ever. YOU guys took him cross country skiing, you meditated by the river, you gave him the time to say good bye to his brother” she said. “Would you rather that Spirit B pass in the Dr.’s arms that you didn’t feel close to or inside you, with you?” ” The latter is far harder for you, as you are always going to have the bit of blame on yourself, but it was the best for Spirit B.”
“Yes…yes this is true” I said. And for the first time, I really meant it.
That night I received a message from Jennifer, the care taker of the hawk. “Your hawk is strong and ready to be released!”
I too was ready to release Spirit B – to have him fly free, high up in the trees, on the mountain tops, to feel the wind in his wings, and to be with us always and for ever.
Yesterday, Jason, Max and I released the hawk, and with him a part of Spirit B. We were able to gaze at his beautiful intense eyes, hold his strong body and remark at his tenacity as he flew away with the wind.
“We love you Spirit B. Fly free, be strong and visit us as often as possible – we’ll be on the lookout for you in rainbows, hawks, mountaintops, and rivers…and anywhere else that a magic moment shows up. Thank you for your bravery, strength and for connecting us all to a world we never fully appreciated.”
“I love you, I love you, I love you-” I whispered to him as he flew away.