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#75: Seven Years

09 Jun

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Seven years ago, our second son Alex passed away peacefully in his sleep. He had a congenital heart defect that we didn’t know about. I put him down for a nap, and he never woke up. He was 8 weeks old.
Benjamin was just 2.5 years old at the time. Too little to understand what had happened. Too little to even ask about Baby Alex after he died. I kept waiting for Benjamin to ask about him, but he didn’t. Explaining to Benjamin that his baby brother had died was a non-event. Benjamin calmly accepted and understood that Alex was in Heaven, and never asked anymore questions about it.
Explaining to the rest of the world that Alex was in Heaven was an entirely different matter. It would be months before I could re-tell the story without some sort of tears. The pain lingers.
It still hurts.
Unfortunately, when I think about Alex, I think about the pain more than the love. I had two months to love a perfect and beautiful little baby boy. I had two months to nurse and snuggle a little angel who would eat so loudly that he sounded like a little piggy. And when I think about that time, I mostly remember the pain.
We forget the pain of childbirth because the love for our children outweighs that event in our minds. For me, it is the sadness that lingers. I had a finite amount of joy with him in my arms. Every day since then has been a measurement of sadness compounding. Parenting an angel baby is the inverse of normal parenthood.
There is still joy. In my life, in my heart, in my world. And it outweighs the grief that persists. On most days.
Seeing posts about 7-year-old birthdays stings just a little bit. It is a reminder about a birthday we won’t celebrate with Alex. Seeing families with two boys makes me a little wistful. I wonder about what our life would be like with boys instead girls.
Most days are fine. The pain is manageable; it’s more of an ache than anything else.
Today things are a little more raw. My head goes back to that fuzzy state I was in after Alex died. I think the brain creates a fog to protect the heart. I will walk around like this until the clouds slowly clear and the rest of the world slowly comes into focus. In this transition, my husband and kids are the sunshine that pushes the clouds away. The noisy, funny, crazy and silly reminders that everything will be okay.
Seven years is long time to miss someone. But it’s just a reflection of how much we love him.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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