Our days have been busy, time is passing quickly… this is both a good thing and a bad one. My babies are growing up overnight, it seems. Adelyn is an absolute God-sent. She is so caring and compassionate, always wanting to take care of us all (don’t get me started on the worries I have with how that will affect her in years to come). Miller is growing up, becoming more independent by the day. He gives me glimpses daily of what Ethan may have been like. They talk about Ethan and Grandpa often. Mostly that they miss them. Miller, obviously, doesn’t understand that you don’t come back from heaven, and that we can’t visit them there. I try to encourage him that maybe he can see them in his dreams.
Every day that passes is one day further from the worst days. Also, a good and a bad thing. Part of me wants to live in those days forever because it was the closest I can be to them. But the other part of me so desperately wants the pain to dull… some days it’s just too much. We were watching videos of the kids when they were younger, and my dad playing with them in some. Watching these memories brought up some of the most painful feelings. My dad won’t get to share these moments with us anymore. We won’t be able to watch Ethan laugh for the first time, or take his first steps. We won’t have videos of the two of them swimming in the pool or catching crabs at the beach. I can’t begin to tell you how much I want those memories with them both.
I’ve become friends with another mother who, along with her husband, suffered the heartbreaking loss of their 10 day old baby girl only one month after we lost Ethan. Please pardon my language but in the words of her husband, she is bad-ass! If you know her story, you most definitely agree with me. If you don’t… just trust me. I’ve thought about her a lot lately and realized that she and I are connected in a way that’s pretty difficult to describe… by something so powerful that I feel like we are considerably more bonded than we would be under “normal” circumstances.
The loss of a child seems so unnatural, not something that parents should ever have to experience. We are a part of a “club” that I, for one, never in a million years imagined I would be a part of. And the membership fees are astronomical. But one thing is for certain, the mothers and fathers that make up this group of people are some of the most astounding, inspirational, courageous, and faithful people I’ve ever encountered. As much as it pains me to have been inducted into this club and as much as I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I am eternally grateful to not be alone. To have someone to talk to who knows my pain and whose pain I can also understand. Having someone to talk to and not feel guilty about sharing with, knowing that we are walking in very similar shoes… I know that God is continuing to bless this journey.
Something else I’ve thought about a lot lately, and I think Meredith would agree with me on… as well as all the mothers and fathers who’ve experienced prenatal and postnatal loss… we wouldn’t trade our time for anything in the world. Literally, there is NOTHING that you could give me to make me change my mind about giving our son a chance at life. We had the most amazingly beautiful, divine, but painful 8 1/2 months with our son that I could imagine. Our time with him gave us a different outlook on and appreciation for life in general. We gave him everything that we could, though I will always wish I could have given more. He is worth every word shared, story told, heart broken, and tear shed. I would do it all over again, a million times, just to spend those 7 short hours with him in our arms. Every day I look forward to the eternity that we will get to spend with him, making up for every moment we didn’t have him here on Earth.
If I could ask one thing… pray for the parents who’ve lost their little ones. Those who’ve experienced a very early pregnancy loss, ones who’ve lost their babies later in the pregnancy… those whose babies have been born sleeping, parents who had a little time, and those who’ve had more time. I’m learning more and more that although every circumstance is different, losing a child is losing a child. Comparing my story to someone else’s does me no good. Often times I only feel guilty for grieving so intensely when mine “doesn’t compare” to theirs. Death sucks. Losing your child sucks worse. So please, when you think about it, send up prayers for families facing that mountain. I can only speak for myself when I say that there are days when keeping my faith is a battle. I am still angry and confused. But I’ve said it before and I will say it again… the Evil One will NOT win. My Saviour has gotten me through this far, and I know He will continue to carry me on His shoulders.