Today is December 2nd, my due date. I’ve been looking forward to this day since the end of March when we first found out I was pregnant. I started looking forward to it even more when, in July, we learned we were expecting a little boy named Silas. I imagined holding a sweet little redhead in my arms and rocking him in the bamboo rocking chair we had made just for him. I imagined him sleeping in the nursery we put so much love and effort into decorating. I imagined taking a million pictures of him every day so our families wouldn’t miss a thing. I imagined the fun of choosing which of his cute little outfits he’d wear each day. I imagined eventually watching him toddle around our new house—rented for the space it had for our family to grow.
A month ago I felt him move for the last time. Two weeks ago, we buried him. Two weeks ago we buried a big part of ourselves.
Except for his soft red hair and blond eyelashes, reality has been nothing like what I imagined. I never got to hold my sweet son. I never got to rock him in that chair or any chair. I never got to lay him in his crib. We never actually finished his nursery. I have four pictures of him that I can’t post on Facebook or hang in our house or carry in my wallet to show people like other proud mothers do. Instead of trying to decide which outfit to dress him in on a daily basis, we had to decide which one he’d wear forever. I’ll never see him toddle around the house I now dread returning to in a few months.
This pain is beyond anything I’ve ever known. I can’t even begin to describe it, so I won’t even try. I struggle with trying to make myself pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and wondering if doing so will cause me to forget. I struggle with the fact that even people I know who are emotionally affected by Silas’ death –their lives have continued while mine has stopped. I struggle because friends continue having precious little babies and posting their beautiful pictures online. I struggle with some of the inappropriate words of “comfort” that a few have chosen to offer us. I struggle to understand how it is that the parents of the children I work with have no trouble having babies that they then toss aside. I struggle with how some, with their silence, choose to pretend this did not happen. I struggle with how to honor my son’s memory and let others know that I am a mother, too, without making them uncomfortable. I struggle because our grief is public and I’ve never had to grieve publicly.
Suffice to say that, in an uncountable number of ways, I am struggling. In the same way, I know I have also been blessed in an uncountable number of ways. I am blessed that I knew his gender and name and, in turn, got to know him as he grew inside of me. I have sweet memories of him that would be totally different if I hadn’t known he was a “he.” I am blessed that even though I didn’t get to hold him, I did get to spend a few precious minutes in awe of how absolutely beautifully and perfectly God put him together. I am blessed by the overwhelming number of people in Chile and the United States who have called, Facebooked, emailed and written to us to let us know that they share in our grief and continue to keep us in their prayers. I am blessed by the listening ear of a sister who knows my grief better than I do because, tragically, she has walked this very same road. I am blessed to have an incredible husband to share this with. I am blessed because I serve a God that grieves with me and also knows the pain of losing a son.
I am blessed because, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, I know the sun will shine again.