Really, there is no closure. I know.
My son, Max, had a stroke at birth that resulted in brain damage and cerebral palsy. We live with the highs and lows of his special needs every single day.
Closure? What closure?
And yet, in my mind, there is a way to get some: I want to call the doctor who guided me through my pregnancy. I've been thinking about it for years.
I adored this doctor. It was my first pregnancy, and I was a very curious and sometimes nervous newbie. “Hi, kiddo!” she’d say when she walked into the exam room. I’d reel off my list of questions, she'd answer them all wisely and calmly. She’d make me laugh. In some ways, she felt like a big sister.
She was one doctor in a group practice of five. There was a chance she wouldn’t deliver my baby. And as fate would have it, she wasn't on call the morning I was ready to go. The youngest doctor in the group did the deed, a soft-spoken man I’d met only once before. I had a c-section.
After Max had been whisked away to the NICU on his second day of life, my doctor came to visit. She was teary-eyed. “I’m so, so sorry,” she said, and I knew she was. She gave me a hug.
That was the last time I saw her.
Over the years I’ve thought, with bitterness, how the course of our lives would have been completely different if a coworker had never recommended this doctor (or her practice) in the first place.
But I’ve also thought tender thoughts about her as I’ve navigated the territory of my own pain and grief. Has she thought about Max? About me? Wouldn’t she like to know how he’s doing? I’ve Googled her; she’s still at the same practice. So is the doctor who delivered my son, a delivery thought to have caused a stoppage of oxygen to his brain. Him, I couldn’t bear to see. I do not hate, but I have not forgiven. Even seeing his name in print is distressing.
Yet my doctor, my old doctor, I want to connect with. I want to show her that yes, I have a child with special needs, but he's doing incredibly well for himself. And he's beautiful. I want her to make him laugh.
I don't know what's holding me back from calling her.