A family member recently sent me an email message. She remembered Keaton’s birthday was coming up. I’m touched that she did…
“Are you doing ok with Keaton’s birthday coming up? Must be hard….”
This is a good question. It is really nice of you to ask, not many people do other than moms who have also lost babies. I’ve come a long way, the grief is no longer right in front of my face all the time – just for brief manageable moments. Counselling is a great outlet and I find that it is often some of the only times I can really let my emotions out. The other babyloss moms I’ve met through the ministry have been a wonderful support too.
I missed Keaton when we went to the elementary school to watch the school Christmas play. (Our 2nd will be attending the school soon and I thought it would be a good way to introduce him to it). When the primary kids sang/danced, it suddenly hit me that Keaton would/should have been up there. We should have been enjoying watching Keaton on the stage; his little brother should have been in the wings adoring his big brother, copying and wanting to be just like him; his baby sister should have been brought to Keaton’s classroom after the performance and showed off to all of Keaton’s friends and [my husband] and I would have had proud tears of joy watching our big boy dressed up as a lamb or angel.
Instead I fought off tears of sorrow wondering what our son would have been doing – and lost. I’m glad it was dark in the gym, people would have looked at me in a strange way. In many ways, I wouldn’t have cared. It would have been a relief to let someone know that I was missing my first born child.
When my nephew stood in our living room and sang ‘Away in a Manger’ on Christmas eve the family was so proud as he remembered all the words, I thought of Keaton then too.
It has been too long since we visited the cemetery. I feel guilty, yet I know Keaton understands. We were planning on visiting his gravesite Christmas day, something we’ve done every single year since he was born, but the children and I were too sick to go out. Rachel’s garden would have been decorated again this year, all decked out with poinsettias on the children’s plaques, candy canes lined up near the flower beds and bows in the trees. I hope the decorations are still up, we’ll go this weekend to visit him.
Am I doing ok? The short answer is yes.
Is it hard? With two other children to run after, it is easy to become distracted. When I get the rare moment and allow myself to express my love/grief, it becomes easier. It is hard to parent a child in heaven, there is a constant longing to know what Keaton is doing, what he looks like and what kind of beautiful soul he is.
What can be hard is going over in my mind the questions and events of what “could” and “should” have been done the the days, hours and minutes leading up to Keaton’s birth. Was there something I could have done to save him? Why was he taken from us? What would Keaton be like, what would our lives be like if our sweetie was here? There are no real answers, this is what can be difficult to reconcile.
Thank you L for asking, I feel very blessed to have you in my life!