Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
Somehow I’ve woken up and it’s been almost seven years since he was born and then died 35 days later. In that time we’ve welcomed two healthy daughters and watched his twin brother grow into a pretty amazing first grader. We’ve bought a house, a minivan, and settled into a life of ‘normalcy.’ We’ve taken vacations, watched both of my sisters get married, and we are currently planning our dream vacation to celebrate ten years of marriage in 2017. We’re looking forward to our future. We are still standing, and even thriving after his death.
After every happy moment in my life, there is a part of me that wants to transform back into the NICU. Go back to the decisions, the surgeries, and the fear of every minute of his life. I would give almost anything to spend one more day with him.
I’m not sure how to relay my need to hear his name and talk about how much I miss and grieve my son. So when I’m feeling especially sad I’ll share a picture of him Facebook, hoping for some words of encouragement. It’s the only thing that seems to make my heart feel not so sad.
I’m trying so hard to embrace the grieving as part of who I am, and part of who I will always be. To take the sadness with the happiness. For the most part, this has been relatively easy to do. But then there are those moments when my heart is breaking and crushing all over again because his death hits me again. It happens anywhere- at work, when I’m driving, when I see his twin brother on the basketball court and I realize how much I would give to see both of my son’s grow up…
He is talking about his brother more often these days. He’ll share with us how if his twin brother was alive he would always have a friend to sit by at school and on the bus. He talks about how they would play superheros and since they would share a room, he wouldn’t get scared at night. It’s moments like these that I don’t understand how life could have been so cruel.
The thriving part of life is easy. It’s not hard to be wrapped up in the every day of raising three children. Life is crazy, but I know it could be crazier. I’d give anything to have the kind of crazy that would come with raising four children.
But those moments of profound grief never go away. I’ve always thought that is the price to pay of profound love. There is nothing I would not do for my children. So the pain of his death will always be with me.
It often times feels like a broken record. Life moves forward. The aching in my heart never goes away. Repeat.
This endless cycle comes and goes often times without notice. There are times when I expect it, but most times it comes without warning. I tend to get really grouchy and sometimes just downright mean when I am missing my son the most. I won’t realize for awhile that the reason surrounding my anger is because I am grieving.
Then I apologize to those I need to, have a cycle of happiness, and repeat. The cycles of happy are longer, and the cycles of grief are easier to manage as time moves forward. But they are always there, and I suppose they always will be.
I just miss him so much.
Grieve. Be happy. Repeat.