In my job as a case manager for children and adolescents with mental health issues, there are times when I need to go to Crisis Intervention with the kids and their families. In our county Crisis Intervention is located inside the emergency room of the Good Samaritan Hospital. This also happens to be the hospital emergency room that Scott was taken to when he had his fatal heart attack and where I first saw him after his death. No matter how many times I go there with the families that I work with and walk past the trauma room where he died, it instantly has the power to take me back in time to the early morning he died and walking into that room and the shell-shocked feeling that overwhelmed me. Today was one of those days.
As I reflected on this in a conversation with my mom this afternoon, we talked about a little boy in our church with some serious medical disabilities who requires a suction machine to assist him in keeping his airways clear. Our family is quite familiar with this machine and the sound as my brother required one regularly for the twelve years between his industrial accident and his death. The sound of the suction machine switching on in church instantly brings thoughts of Jason to our minds. It is bittersweet - a reminder he is no longer with us, but also a reminder of him. Every time I hear the noise I am grateful that the family sees this as a normal sound and not something for which they need to take him out of the service to take care of. It may seem disruptive to others, but it is a comforting sound to us. I know that I will never hear this sound without thinking of Jason, just as I will never go into the emergency room at the Good Samaritan Hospital without thinking of Scott.
No matter where I am in my grief journey for my brother, Jason, or for Scott, there are always going to be time machine moments — things that instantly transport me back in time to a specific moment with Jason or Scott. These are powerful moments — not always bad memories and not always good memories — simply moments that remind me of those that I love that are no longer here.