Mourning a Child

When talking to my newly pregnant sister she mentioned how worried she was about how the baby was doing. She’s headed into that scary territory between the positive test and the first ultrasound where there are no promises and, for some, little evidence that everything is okay.  I remember how sick it made me at times, the not-knowing, and the frustration of not being able to guarantee my daughter’s health and safety. I didn’t tell her what both you and I know: It doesn’t stop.

Nearly every day I worry that RR will fall and hit her head, that she’ll run into the street, that she’ll get sick. I worry that today will be the day I lose her or my wife. That a terrible twist will utterly and completely suck the air out of my world. It’s a rabbit hole of dread. I stay as far from the brink as I can.  It would be too easy to be paranoid…or paralyzed.

Tonight I’m deeply sad for a family that lost their child to cancer and the air from their world. We can’t protect any of them, can we? It’s the most awful thing in the world.



6 Responses

  1. I have a few friends that have lost children – most of them have been infants – but I also have a friend who lost her 12 year old son to cancer a few years ago. It really is the most awful thing in the world.

  2. Losing someone is never easy, I cannot imagine what they are feeling (or not feeling) right now. My heart aches for them, they were one of the first blogs I started reading over 4 years ago, before their BFP. I just cannot imagine the greif and pain they are dealing with now. So very sad.

    Unfortunately, bad things happen and all we can do is put one foot in front of the other each day and try not to let the unknowns keep us from living our lives…

  3. Child 2 once pulled her dresser over on her 2nd birthday. I panicked when I went into her room and found it on the floor and I screamed because I thought she was under it. Thankfully, she wasn’t and she popped up from behind it when she heard me scream. I realized at that point that there are things beyond my control. We anchored the dresser inside the closet and kept the door shut, but still, I can’t keep all bad things from happening to her. She is now a teenager and recently had her heart broken by a mean boy and I can’t keep her from that, either. The only thing I can do is hug her close and be grateful for ever single day. Give RR a big wet kiss on top of her head and know the family who lost their child is probably on some level happy that you still have yours.

  4. The wife and I sat on the edge of the bathtub last night sobbing over toothbrushes and the ideas of such an enormous loss. There’s no escaping it. Everyday I worry about the same thing.

    Shortly after Felix was born and I discovered the fear that love brings, I told D that while I loved her I could live with out her. I would be sad and mourn but eventually I would heal and move on. I didn’t think I could physically live without Felix. I still don’t. My heart breaks for C’s mamas…I don’t know how they’ll live.

  5. Before Critter was born, I was more *actively* worried about losing him. Or, at the time, losing the pregnancy. I’m worried about losing this pregnancy, for that matter. It hurts.

    But the way that loss hurts is nothing compared to even the *thought* of losing Critter now. I could try to imagine what those poor mothers are going through right now, but frankly, I don’t want to do it. There are some holes I can’t afford to fall down, not if I don’t want to spend all my life curled up in bed whimpering.

    Fortunately, the odds of something happening to him, or PB, for that matter, are much lower now than when he was in utero. They aren’t zero, can never be zero even if I never let any of us leave the house, but the odds are much less. And, the payoff is much greater. Critter now, even as he shrieks “leave me alone” when I come to collect him for jammies, brings so much to our lives. The thing about having children is that it’s basically a process of externalizing your heart and turning that delicate organ loose to roam the world with minimal protections, but it’s worth it. All we can do is love as fiercely as we can, while we can. It’s enough; it has to be.

    Not that I think I would tell any of this to your sister just at the moment. Except, maybe, that it’s worth it.

  6. Yes, this. The vulnerability of this kind of love is terrifying.

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