Monday, October 19, 2015
31 Days of Grief: Day 19
A few mornings ago, at the breakfast table, this was my son's prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Help everyone to be good. And help us to have a new baby who is healthy ... very healthy, and strong ... very, very strong and won't die ...
I teared up. How could I not? It breaks my heart that my son has lost two siblings and this knowledge, that babies die, is part of his life experience, his life story.
There was a time shortly after Jocelyn was born that Micah would get very serious, give her a big hug and say, Mom, I love her so much, I just don't want her to die!
It took a lot of carefully chosen words to explain that not all babies die and that baby Evie had been very sick. I think he gets it now.
Just last week I was addressing baby Charlie's birth announcements to long-distance family. Micah asked to see one and smiled. A few minutes later he was acting very strange and I asked him what was wrong. He broke down, "I'm sad about baby Charlie!" He said it through loud wails, "I just want him!". Tears from me too, of course. Because that's what I want as well.
Mostly Micah remains unaffected by Evie and Charlie's deaths. He is a happy go lucky four year old boy with a big imagination and lots of dirt under his fingernails from sunny afternoons playing outside. But every once in a while things come up.
This time around we knew Micah understood what was happening with Charlie. From the diagnosis day until now we tell him, if he wants to cry or not, both are ok. If he feels sad or just normal, that's all ok. We encourage him to talk to us and ask questions and, for a while, I was checking in and casually asking him what he thought about the baby. We try to be open and very honest, we don't sugar coat what happened, but we do try to be sensitive.
I just have to remember that, just as Evie and Charlie have their unique stories and losing two babies is a part of my unique story, losing two siblings (and please God, no more!), is a part of my son's story. I hope and pray very much that it gives him a special empathy for those who are hurting and makes him a better brother, son, and friend. I hope it gives him a genuine zeal for heaven. I hope one day, he can use this part of his story to further the kingdom's cause, just like his sister and brother.