On January 5th, 2013, at around 8:30 am, Ricardo stopped breathing. Yes, it was expected but not easy to finally see it. Ian was sleeping and as soon as he woke up I told him and asked if he wanted to say good-bye. He jumped out of my lap, running to Ricardo’s room, opening the door, kissing him and saying ‘bye Daddy!’
Between tears, I started notifying friends, nurses, the funeral home, and his family back in Brazil. Peter, our friend, and JM, Ricardo’s closest friend here, helped me putting his loved Flamengo shirt and his ‘cremation kit’, as we started calling the list of things he wanted to be cremated with.
It was easy to deal with all the bureaucracy – hard is to deal with the loss. And slowly I come to terms with the grandeur of what I had just done.
I feel privileged of the confidence he deposited in me and I told him that. I feel lucky to had time to tell him how much I love him and how important he was. I realized then that most of my grieving was done before he left us – still some to do, but less than usual. As weird as it is a life without him, I had time to prepare as I was assisting him through his illness.
I have been concentrating in trying to help Ian now that Ricardo is gone. We had a very difficult start, but back on track in just a couple of days. He is being aggressive from time to time, when he can’t put into words his feelings. Last night, for the first time, he got sad and verbalized that he wanted daddy…
We’ve been talking about it and Ricardo is an important part of our lives. I was never afraid of letting my son experience everything, even if painful. I like to think of life the way the writer Isabel Allende described it: a noise between two silences.
Death is an important part of life – as it is birth. So, why not celebrate death the way we celebrate birth – with life?
I love you, Ricardo. And I always will. Be free…