The past few months have been a journey that Bekah and I never wanted to take. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about our dear Silas. Remembering and mourning his all-too-short life is still a major part of our existence, and, for me at least, questions and doubts still plague my life. I don’t know if there will ever come a day in which we don’t think about our precious son. All that being said, however, we’re ready to go back.
This journey is far from over, and we realize that, to a large extent, this journey will never come to an end. When Silas was born we became parents, that doesn’t change just because he was stillborn. The only thing that distinguishes us from other parents is that we are parents who lost our son, but we are parents nonetheless. This pain and this loss will mark us, it will make up a large part of our identity forever. That’s why I choose not to speak of “moving on.”
“Moving on” feels like we’re saying “leave behind.”
I feel like way too often we are expected to “get over” our loss. Not just our loss, but any loss in general. It’s as if we are to try to get back to some pre-Silas state where the wound disappears and we are whole again, as if it never happened. Maybe that’s not what people mean when they talk about moving on, but it’s what I hear. This wound will never fully heal. The pain will subside, a little, but we will always be parents who lost our son. So if moving on means forgetting, it will never happen. What we are ready to do, however, is move forward.
The difference is that when we move forward we take Silas with us, and everything we do will be marked by our loss but not defined by it. I’m ready for that. I’m ready to live my life, to go forward, not without fears or sadness, but with a commitment to honor Silas through what we do in his absence. I want to honor him in our service to those we have chosen to live with. Through the classes I teach about God and the Bible, and the Children we love at the Children’s home, I want us to honor our beloved son.
So on Monday evening we begin our journey back, and on Tuesday we’ll arrive home in Arica. Then in March classes will start and Bekah and I will begin visiting the group-foster home again, and little by little we’ll start to carve out a new normal as loving parents whose lives have been so unequivocally changed by the life of our beautiful baby boy, Silas.