A few months ago I realized that, by this point, I could be a grandma.
And when the weight of my loss duplicated in souls never to meet, I sobbed. A pull-over-to-the-side-of-the-road-ugly cry sob.
Grief for loss known – and unknown. For a title I don’t get to have. For generations that never got to be.
In my line of work, I see expectant and new moms every day. Having lost a teenager, I never imagined this age bracket bothering me.
What’s not to love about babies? They’ve never been a trigger for me, only immediate joy. It wasn’t until I met with a girl who is the age my son would now be, pregnant, that it hit me.
My baby would be old enough to have babies now…
When we first lost Austin, there was a popular song on the radio called “Who you’d be today.”*
It ain’t fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away….
Then, I grieved for what could’ve been. What didn’t get to be.
I imagined the faces of grandbabies, with my son’s jet black hair and puppy dog eyes. Those babies I’d never get to hold.
But times passes and we forget, or rather maybe, push it away to heal and move forward.
Six years later, life has a way of reminding us what we could’ve had.
Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?…
Then, it was only the midst of dream. When losing a 14 year old son, it is hard to imagine fully what the future may have held.
An’ sometimes I wonder,
Who’d you be today?
Now, time has fast forwarded and it is real, present tense, tangible. It is easier to grieve the loss of what might have been and didn’t get to be.
Surprisingly, a loss that not just I feel, but also our youngest, Austin’s brother, feels as well.
I never mentioned the ‘grandma moment’ to my family. It was too raw, too emotional and difficult to share.
Yet the other day, out of the blue, my now fourteen-year-old said, “I wish I could be an uncle.”
And my heart broke all over again.
He’ll never get to be…Not in the truest sense. Not the uncle he would’ve been -to his brother’s babies. Another title our family won’t experience.
At least not yet.
Time passes and wounds heal but sometimes the passing of time opens new pains you never even expected to have.