Sorry for the delay. It’s been a rough weekend compounded with a bad Monday where I didn’t feel good and was home in the bed.
As I’ve stated before, co-parenting can be a real drag when the parents think and do things differently. As a strong personality (yes, I will admit it) it can be hard for me to not intercede my opinion on what is in the best interest of my child. I’ve learned that I can’t do that. My ex often referred to me as a controlling b**** and I have to remember that what he does on the week’s that he has my son is what he chooses. Do I like it? Nope. Do I think you should follow that logic? Nope, but to keep the peace – I do.
That being said, let me tell you how that dang logic can fail. Last Thursday, my son’s father stopped by to see munch at his request and then proceeded to tell him that the family dog, Bailey, will have to be put to sleep soon because he was sick. My son had a major breakdown and ran in the house crying to see me and talk to me about it. I asked his dad, “Why would you tell him that?” He replied, “It’s true, the dog hasn’t eaten or drank little water since last Friday.” “So, you’re letting him suffer and wait it out?” I asked. “No, munch said he wants to say good-bye to Bailey first” was his reply.
I disagreed with this logic. Our child was 7. He didn’t need to see him dying. WTH? I said nothing though. You know, that dang co-parenting thing.
Bailey had been sick for two years. Two years. The longest two years of my life. I watched his slow decline and offered to split the vet costs with my ex. He never responded. Last November, I decided that I would no longer split custody of the dog. My ex wasn’t taking good care of him and I had hoped that my decision would have forced him to give Bailey up or take him to the vet. I said that I would keep him if they should go out of town.
He said nothing. “Okay” was his response. In April was the last time I kept Bailey. I told my ex that Bailey’s health is failing and this is ridiculous. You need to get him to the vet. It didn’t happen. My ex was hospitalized in June on a Friday. On Sunday he asked me could I get Bailey. It was 48 hours later. Didn’t you think of him Friday when you were hospitalized? Why are you now thinking of him on Sunday? I replied “No.” He called me all kinds of names and told me how I failed Bailey and threw him away like I did our family.
I was hurt. I didn’t throw away our family. I ended our relationship. I cried. But, I resolved to not give into the bitterness and let the pain suffocate me like a wet blanket trying to extinguish a fire. It was no good. It did suffocate me.
I told him through text that Bailey needs to be taken care of by someone else. My ex couldn’t walk him anymore. He was in denial and couldn’t see beyond his own need for Bailey to remain with him. Bailey was going to the bathroom on pee pads in his house , no exercise or medical attention. I said a prayer and let Bailey go.
It pained me to see him when I would drop off things at my ex’s house. He looked so sick and sad. I prayed. I let him go in my heart. I begged my friends who were friends with him to please talk to him about giving up Bailey. They didn’t. It wasn’t their place. Whose place was it? Mine? Nope, he didn’t listen to me.
Bailey was getting sicker.
That suffering ended Friday, September 25th when my son and his dad walked in their house and found Bailey dead. He was 9. Would have been 10 on November 4th. My son had a breakdown.
When I spoke to him he said, “Mommy, Bailey’s dead. His eyes were open and he had a scratch on his eye. Mommy” My heart broke. My munch was experiencing first hand the pain of losing someone very close to him. Bailey had been in his life since he was born. We introduced them as brothers. I tried to calm him down. My son asked, “Mommy, don’t you care that he’s gone?” “Yes munch, but Bailey is in a much better place. He’s not suffering anymore and I need you to calm down. To know that he is not in pain.”
Saturday morning my ex calls and tells me that he needed me to take munch to therapy. He can’t take him. He has to deal with the proper disposal of Bailey’s body. Yep, I had a WTH? moment but couldn’t say anything right? My munch spent the night at his dad’s house with Bailey’s body. I was hurt. I was angry. What is wrong with his dad? Why can’t he see past his own pain and take his son out of the house? But, I’m not allowed to ask questions.
My son cried in my arms all Saturday. Heartfelt, deep and painful tears that came from the depths of his soul. He cried asking, “Mommy, why won’t God raise Bailey from the dead like he did Jesus? He knew we needed Jesus and he knows I need Bailey.” With tears streaming down my face I just held him and rocked him. I kept telling him, “Bailey wouldn’t want to see you sad. He hated to see you cry. He cried when you cried. He loved you.” But, what should I have said? What am I supposed to do?
Pick up the pieces of a child’s broken spirit? I’m trying. We made a memory box that we will be putting words, thoughts, stories, memories and pictures of Bailey in it. There are so many things that munch didn’t know about Bailey. I’m adding to the box. Encouraging his dad to do so and trying to ease my son’s pain.
He will never forget the loss. We will never forget. We just have to do the best we can in the midst of his pain. Co-parenting through death sucks. You have to live with the other parent’s decision even if you don’t think it is in the best interest of your child.