Monday, July 29, 2013

The Ghosts That Haunt Me

A few years ago, I had a claim at work with a family that had lost their one-year old son to cancer.  A few months prior, Sarah and I lost a child to miscarriage, so I was especially affected by this family. As I dealt with my own grief, reading the journal of this dad allowed me to cry - something I can rarely do with only my own thoughts to prompt me.  Crying is healing.  Every now and then I try do it on purpose - sometimes via his journal, something via YouTube videos (SoulPancake is a great channel for this).  More recently, 2 friends of friends have lost children, and I came back to this journal to help me deal with the pain that comes up each time. I share it below in hopes that if you need to release some stuff, maybe this will help.  The full journal can be found here:

Dear Bubba,

Today would have been your fourth birthday.  I wish, with all my heart, that you were still here.  Life did not offer you or I such choices.  For if it had, you would - without question - be in the position to write a letter like this to me.  I mean I wouldn't expect much.  You're four.  An "I miss you Dada" would suffice.  But here I sit with a heavy heart writing you this letter and wondering what it would have been like to see you at four.  I simply can't imagine.  You will always be stuck at 21 months in my mind.

Your little sister, Lily, looks so much like you, Monkey.  Every once in a while I'll catch a glimpse of her at just the right angle and it's like I see you.  She has your head with your gentle spirit to boot.  Now get this, she is 13 months old and still doesn't crawl.  She just scoots on her butt.  Everywhere.  She's pretty good at it but I'm sure if you were here, you'd show her the ropes.  You'd show her how kissing your mom's feet makes her squeal, or how pulling Big Red's hair makes her squeal too (though with very different emotional results).  I'm pretty sure you would love your little sister.  She's pretty sweet.  When your Mom is missing you terribly, she always manages to do something pretty cute to lift her spirits.

You'll be relieved to know that Makena has not changed much.  Still talks.  A lot.  Still forces us to play games that only she knows the rules to.  Still makes us very tired by the end of the day.  She can be very sweet and tries to include your name or thoughts of you in everything we do as a family.  I know her relationship with you could be tempestuous at times but she really loves you, Carter.  You will always be the first man I saw fall completely head over heels for my oldest daughter.  And that wasn't just because she pushed you.

Your mom is doing okay.  She still manages to make us laugh with her dorky sense of humor.  She's a great mom to your sisters.  She has her hard days; I have mine.  I doubt that will ever change.  I often catch her just staring blankly into space and I know her thoughts are with you.  I do the best I can to keep her happy, but going through life with a broken heart isn't easy.  No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in (good or bad), there will always be something in our lives that is missing.

I am not sure why I am writing to you.  I don't believe in heaven and I don't ever intend to.  The only places I know I will see you again are in my memories and my dreams.  What I do know is that the more time passes, the stronger I feel your absence. Lately, I unconsciously stare at your pictures while a voice in my head repeats over and over, "I miss my son."  Going on without you is the hardest thing your Mom and I will ever have to do.  We miss you, Monkey.


ps ka-chow

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