It's hard to believe that an entire month has past since Darrel left us.
On certain levels, it seems only like yesterday, yet on others it feels much,
much longer. One of the hardest things we had to do was to clear out his old
room. Packing up his clothes was especially difficult. Remembering all the
times he wore this shirt, or those pants brought back many memories of happier
times. We kept quite a selection of his favourites, and donated the rest to
charity. Normally we pass clothes no longer needed in the house along to
family and friends with younger children, but I'm not sure if I could handle
that with Darrel's things. Many of his old toys, movies, and video games were
sent down to the children's clinic at the hospital in Kitchener. Since the
girls had no interest in the more boy oriented stuff, it seemed like the right
thing to do. The room would sit empty for a couple days, as we had many
others things on the go around here. Though it was extremely awkward putting
Kira's things in there, I think it helped a bit seeing the room in use again,
but like everything else, nothing is really that easy to deal with.
There are constant and daily reminders about Darrel where ever we look.
Whether it be physical things, or simple words and phrases that were particular
to him, it is impossible to escape the situation. For the first week after his
death, I'd often pull out an extra fork to set the table with, but then realize
it wouldn't be needed anymore. We also had to move his chair away from the
dinner table, as seeing it sit there empty didn't help matters at all. Every
morning at 8 AM, the alarm on his little blue and yellow wrist watch still goes
off. Darrel wanted it set to make sure he was up in time to watch Pokemon.
While flipping through the channels on the TV, I often come across other show
he enjoyed watching. I sometimes find myself stopping on them, remembering his
comments about that particular episode, or him preparing to hide his face if he
thought a kissy scene was coming up.
I've been back to work for two weeks now, and dealing with some co-workers
can be quite trying sometimes. Many are surprised and/or concerned that I've
returned so fast since the events unfolded. At the time, it had been two weeks
since Darrel had died...and most companies only give 3 to 5 days for a grieving
period, so I felt fortunate enough as it was. Of course, there are still those
who don't know what to say, and those who still say the wrong things, but I
know their intentions were good (well most of them anyways). It isn't always
easy, but nothing about losing your seven year old son should be.
Although I didn't expect to help as much as it seems to, I think having his
cremated remains still in the house is somewhat comforting. While other things
around the place bring up alot of emotions and memories, seeing the urn there
reminds me that he is now free from pain and suffering, and finally at peace.
Being able to say good morning, good night, or have little chats about my day
with him, without leaving the house, often helps remove the sense of loss for a
short time. He was always quick with a snappy and straight to the point
response, and I often imagine hearing him reply in his usual fashion. Then of
course the realization of it all creeps back in, but at least I did have the
few brief personal moments with him before hand. We may chose to scatter
and/or bury his ashes further down the road, but for now it seems right. At
the moment, everybody and everything are doing better than probably expected,
so there is no need or desire to alter our plans at the moment.
Thanksgiving was just yesterday, and it was the first of many holidays
without Darrel with us. It was alot quieter at my parents house, and we had
more time to visit with everybody than we have had in a long time. A special
meal didn't need to be prepared to meet a certain person's unique tastes, nor
was the TV loudly blaring over those of us trying to have a conversation. The
sun was shining, and it was warm enough to require shorts and even turning on
the air conditioning on an October afternoon in Canada. While to an outsider
these things might sound ideal and desirable, the lack of disruption made the
day seem somewhat more empty and colder for me. Considering what had happened
over the last two years, and the last month especially, it was difficult to be
overly thankful about anything regardless.
With two of Darrel's favourite times of the year coming up soon, his
absence will be felt strongly. He had already placed some special requests for
Halloween and Christmas in, though I would love to do so, I won't be able to
fulfil them this time. We tried to do, and get for him whatever he wanted as
soon as we could, but now our focus must turn to the wants and needs of the
girls. The upcoming holidays will also take their toll of them, and we will
have to be prepaerd as much as possible for that as well.
People often say it will get easier to deal with this over time, but I
don't want it to. The way Darrel handled dealing with cancer often gave the
impression that it wasn't that bad, but that most certainly wasn't the case.
Coming to terms with the emotions is one thing, but I never want to look back
at any of this and think it was easy. That being said, if he could look
cancer and death in the face, and still find enough reason to laugh and smile,
what right do any of us have to do any less.
ROBB, Darrel Wesley (2000-2007) — Died, and left us far too early,
surrounded by his family, at his home in Fergus, on September 9, 2007 at the
age of 7. After two very long and emotional years, he was unable to win his
struggle with neuroblastoma cancer. His body may have been defeated, but his
mind and spirit were never broken at any time. Darrel will be forever loved and
missed by his parents Stephen and Rebecca. Brother to Kira and Lauren, who will
remember his laughter, his smile and arguing with him over the simple things
children always do. Grandson to John and Helen Robb and Joe and Carol Webers,
who will treasure all the adventures they shared with him over his brief time
with us. Darrel was also a nephew to Bryan Robb and Amy Anticknap, Steven and
Debbie Webers, Loralie and Don Klaehn and David Webers. Cremation has taken
place. Visitations for family and friends were held on Thursday, September 13,
2007. The funeral was officiated by Reverend Herb Klaehn on Friday, September
14, 2007. Arrangements for both were entrusted to the Graham A. Giddy Funeral
Home in Fergus. For those who wish, memorial donations may be directed to the
Grand River Hospital Children's Outpatient Clinic.