I remember the day we lost Nathaniel so vividly. I remember feeling so lost, so empty…….so removed and yet so shockingly forced into a reality that I never, ever, ever in a million years ever expected myself to be in.
It felt like the very life had been ripped out of me. I remember holding my sweet baby and feeling so conflicted and confused. How was I supposed to act? What was acceptable? What was inappropriate? And under it all…….does it even matter anymore? How am I supposed to carry on when a huge part of me has died.
My heart felt like it had stopped and yet it traitorously kept beating. Not that I wanted to die, but I was in so much pain that even breathing hurt. And I just wanted to not hurt for a moment.
I remember walking away from the hospital thinking, “This is not how this was supposed to go. I am not supposed to be walking away from here empty handed. I am leaving my heart behind, here in the hospital” and yet there I was. No bags full of presents and baby things, no heavy, awkward car seat, no baby….just the pain and the grief that overwhelmed me……threatening to crush me. I forced myself to move one foot in front of the other. I had kids, I had a husband. I had a life that I had to carry on with and yet……..my life had stopped. Very few that I knew, understood what I was going though and even though there were ones who did……I still felt so alone…..so lost.
This was my grief to bear. My baby I lost. My life to live……if you could call this living.
The emptiness, the loneliness, the hurt, the tears…….all came rushing back this morning. It’s been just over 7 years since we lost Nathaniel and while thoughts of him no longer consume my every day….there are moments when the loss hits me so hard that it takes my breath away and it feels like I’m back there in that moment.
This morning I’m hurting. I’m hurting for those who hurt. I’m hurting for myself. I’m hurting for my loss and your loss.
These little ones….they are our sons and daughters, but they are also our grandsons and daughters and our nieces and nephews, our cousins. The loss….it’s all our loss. Regardless of their time here on earth, these little ones leave a huge impact. There are holes that can never be filled and lessons learned in love, togetherness, understanding, gentleness, caring, kindness and compassion. In spite of their time here on earth being shorter than we had hoped or wanted….their legacy lives on in the everyday actions of those they leave behind.
But today….I hurt. I hurt for you and I hurt for me.
I will always remember!