Almost three and a half years ago I was thrown into the world of the grieving parent. At the time, I was in a highly alert state, taking words that were said to me and dissecting them one by one. Sometimes people said things that I found confusing, and maybe even hurtful. I started reading…
Many days, my heart hurts. Sometimes it’s just a second or two as I glance at Matthew’s picture…or think about the date (a year ago tomorrow, I was transferring our sweet little Trey). Other times, it’s a bit longer at the end of the day when I have quiet time to think about things that the demands of the day don’t always allow me to do.
Most days, I wonder.
What would they be like? Would they be like Luke, my living standard of a son? Is it even fair to think like that? He’s his own person, as were they their own.
I just don’t get to know what those little people would have been like, and so I wonder.
I think this is just how grief is. People will try to tell you it is a cycle or a process, and typically, it’s expected that cycles and processes eventually end.
Those people are wrong, though. That’s just not how grief is.
Grief comes up in little forms, all the time, when one is least expecting it. The reminders of what isn’t scream so loudly sometimes. Expecting one to ‘get over it,’ is just so unrealistic. We get through, not over.
Lately, I’m finding my heart aching in a different way. It’s surprising, but not at the same time.
My heart really hurts for Luke.
Every day, I’m reminded of what we’ve lost. What I as a mother and John as a father have lost. What we as a family have lost.
But now I’m starting to see what Luke has lost.
He just turned two, and he’s really interested in ‘kids’. Especially boys just a bit older than he is. He watches them play and he mimics them and giggles and cries when it’s time to go our separate ways.
The boy was born to have brothers.
This is a different grieving. Grieving for him. Grieving for what he should have on this earth and doesn’t. Grieving over the conversations I’m going to have to have with him. At two, it’s as common as the sun shining for him to see pictures of Matthew and say, “Matthew. Brother. Jesus.” without blinking an eye.
Really, right now, he doesn’t have a clue.
But he will.
I’ll face a lot of those questions.
“Why can’t I have brothers?”
“Here, I mean.”
“Why do you have pictures of Matthew but not of Trey?”
“Why didn’t you just have another baby?”
My heart stings in anticipation.
Watching his little face light up as he plays with little boys close to Matthew’s age just twists the knife in my heart. Watching him smile and say, “Hi, baby!” to random newborns makes me tear up. It makes me mad and bitter and sad and wistful all at the same time.
My heartache—I can take it.
His? It just seems so much insult to injury.
That’s how loss is, though. It’s cruel, unforgiving and impartial.