And so our story starts to come to a close….. as a new one begins…
We had stayed at CLIC on the Monday night and in the morning at the hospital I was talking to Ollie bear’s Grandma and Ali in the kitchen. After talking about the CLIC house I said to Ali , “Ali, Reuben’s Retreat”, she said I love it, what will it be………….
Later that day TEWSDAY the 21st of August at 1pm we were called in to a meeting with ICU, Nurses, Oncology and Palliative care. I couldn’t listen to anyone as the words palliative care whished around my head… palliative… palliative… this is it…this is it… we are nearing the end…. i was starting to feel some relief as i had now been grieving for my son for a week already.
The leading Doctor asked what our thoughts were on Reuben’s fight. Mike articulated and took the lead… Reuben had 4 major fights on his hands…
1)The Tumour – which was taking up half of his brain, it was aggressive, thoughts were it had only been there for 6-8 wks and it was crushing his brain stem
2)Cardiac arrests – Reuben had suffered 2 major cardiac arrests
3)Multiple organ failure
4)Cancer – we had just found out the night before that the histology report had confirmed cancer and that it was one of 2 rare aggressive forms.
In isolation, i don’t doubt for one minute that our little fighter could not have survived one of these, however collectively he didn’t even have a 1% chance.
The mutual decision was made that his fight was over and plans were put in place to remove his life support. They took their time with us to discuss Isaac and his needs and we decided to ask Isaac if he wanted to come down to say na night god bless to his baby Brother, which he did. This was to be the best advice I ever took in my life. Francis asked me “What about Reuben’s Brother, he will survive this tragedy”. It was then that the seeds were sown for bereavement support for Mummies, Daddies and siblings. It was also more important to Isaac’s future than I could have ever appreciated at that time and since then Isaac has been heavily involved in all we do including writing on Reuben’s headstone…. Francis we are indebted to you, you do a fantastic job, thank you xxxx
Close friends and Grandparents were with us and everyone had their private time with Reuben. Isaac talked to him and blew Goodbye kisses and Daddy got into bed with Reuben and read goodbye bedtime stories. Then the God Mummy’s collective, including Rachael and our Mums washed him and put cream on him whilst i brushed his hair and put his pyjamas on. There was something almost primal about how all the women of the family came together to prepare him. It was as if the millions of women years gone by from all faiths, countries and generations had done this with their children and there was a real comfort in it as we all worked in harmony, for Reuben.
We held a service with the lady chaplain, Vron and it was truly beautiful. The nurses brought a settee to the room for me to sit on and Reuben was passed to Mummy’s aching arms. I sang twinkle twinkle to him and listed all the people that loved him. He curled up tight and whilst the chaplain lay her hands on his sweet head and silently prayed, our darling precious wonderful boy fell asleep in my arms. Peace at last. Everybody left the room and i had some quiet time with my gorgeous Reuben. The past few weeks Reuben had excelled in cuddling and he gave some really good squeezes. At that moment, like many others that week, i would have given my own life to get his back and nothing seemed fair or real. As i lay him on the bed i kissed his beautiful blonde hair and his darling cheeks and promised him that none of this would be in vain. That a legacy would live on in his name and that his memory would last forever.
We all headed home. We had left Mottram as a family of 4 for a bright sunny holiday in Devon and we were returning a family of 3. We had lost a quarter of our dear family
Reuben Michael Graham
“Sometimes the shortest stories are the most beautiful…..
The shortest stories become so very precious”
Founder of Reuben’s Retreat
10/9/10 to 21/8/12 Forever loved & missed, forever “nearly2”
We MISS you with every beat of our broken hearts dear darling boy and wherever you may be I hope that you are dancing, and laughing and kicking a ball and eating more cake than you could have ever dreamed off
Love eternally ~ Mummy, Daddy, Isaac, your family, Godparents and loving friends