It's been a year now since I lost my son. He was born 13 weeks early and came on March 6th, 2018, and passed away exactly two weeks later on March 20th, 2018. I've never known pain, sadness and darkness like I've experienced after losing him. I felt so betrayed by my body. I was supposed to be able to protect him and there was nothing I could do. I still replay the horror of seeing the NICU doctors working so hard to try and save him, but in the end, it turned out he was too perfect to stay, and my heart continues to break every single day without him. Even after a year, and on what would have been his 1st birthday, I feel so empty without him. When all I want is to hold him, kiss him and snuggle with him, I can't. I can only look at the pictures we were able to capture in his short two weeks. I can only wonder what he would have been like, sounded like etc. It sometimes drives me crazy because I find myself in a place of wishing somehow I could changed everything.
I thought for so long no one else could ever understand the pain I was feeling, but I'm more heartbroken to see just how many other moms are feeling exactly what I feel and are hurting the same way. I wish I could say to you all that the pain eases, but truthfully, it doesn't. But I will say that after a year, I've learned that while the pain doesn't really ease, it doesn't pierce the same. You hurt, but you find joy thinking of your little one. You still cry, but not every single day. You smile again, you will laugh again, you will live...because you have to. Your little one would never want you to be broken, and that's eventually what I had to learn. I was driving myself into isolation, shutting out my husband and my family and I knew that my son would never want that. I also knew that my 6 year old needed me. He still needed his mom and my family needed me, and I felt like I needed to be the person my baby would want to be mom his mom. I felt the need to make him proud, and that's my motivation of everyday.
I still struggle with my emotions. I have hard time around new moms with their babies, not out of envy but out of emptiness. But the more time goes on, the more I learn that my tragedy doesn't have to be just about losing my son. While I will forever hurt, and it will never be the same, faith keeps me going knowing that I have my own special little angel, who knows he is and will always be loved. My son knew nothing but love and it just reminds me of just how innocent babies are. He fought so hard for those two weeks. He was just barely over a pound, but he was such a fighter. I think everyday how can I not fight to make it through and heal and honor him when he fought so hard for two weeks. Losing your child forever changes you. Living with half your heart gone seems impossible, but I promise you, if I can make it it through this first year, you will make it through today, tomorrow and the next day. Just one day at a time. No one can dictate how you heal, how you grieve, how you process what you're going through. Cry, yell, scream, whatever you feel. Whatever it takes, just hold one, and know that you're not alone.
This is not a sisterhood that I would ever wish existed, but it does, and I pray for each and every one of you that you will find healing and comfort and the strength to take it one day at a time. I read this poem and found it in and have it in my house, and although it makes me cry, it also gives me comfort. I would recommend anyone struggling to ready it. It's called "If you could see my now" by Patsy Stambaugh Deskins:
If you could see me now you wouldn't shed a tear,
Though you may not understand why,
I am no longer there.
Remember my spirit,
That is the real me.
Because I'm still very much alive, I've just been set free!
Oh, if you could only see!
I have beheld our Father's face and I've touched my Savior's hand.
All of Heavens angels' rejoiced as I entered the promised land.
Beyond the gates of pearl, I 've walked on the golden streets,
I've touched the walls of jasper and dipped my foot in the crystal sea.
The beauty is beyond words and nothing could compare,
I've even seen your mansion and someday, I'll meet you there.
Let Jesus be your guide because His Word will show you the way!
So, please don't cry because we will meet again someday.