Missing our baby boy

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Almost Four Years Later...

I've been thinking a lot about what my life is like now as I approach the four-year passing of my son. There's no way to sum it up in a few words. It's not better or worse, but it's not the life I was hoping to have. I think all loss mothers feel that way. I guess I should go into a little detail...this is a blog, after all.

It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget my lost son, and don’t judge me harshly, but I’m okay with that. I’m okay with moving on. I don’t hold on to my grief like some loss mothers do. To be perfectly honest, I feel sorry for those who are devastated to the point of a standstill with life. I’ve met those who are 10+ years out from their loss and grieve just as deeply as the day they lost their child.

I don’t want to be that.

In conversation with them, they’ll tell you about how their inability to move on has crippled their lives to a point. Marriages have fallen apart, bonds with living children were difficult to establish and keep…but it didn’t stop them from grieving for the child who was lost to them. They became so engrossed in their loss, hurt and anguish that they’ve let life slip by them because they can’t get past the pain.

I don’t mean to come off as insensitive or scornful to these women. We can’t help how we grieve…or can we? I purposely don’t surround myself with things that remind me of Brayden. His pictures are locked away, we have no shrines here, and his ashes are in a box in my room. I don’t listen to the sad play-list I have on iTunes (yes, it really is labeled ‘sad music’). I don’t talk about him much.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t have my days where I wish for what could have been. It doesn’t mean that I don’t hurt or don’t still grieve. I do. I will always have a piece of me that’s gone. I won’t ever forget, and that’s the thing about all of this…I don’t have to surround myself with reminders, I remember that day and that’s enough. I refuse to punish myself with constant sadness. I can’t change what happened, but I can change how it directs my life.

My grief won’t own me.

Part of this attitude that I have comes from seeing how my family was affected by our loss. My husband doesn’t talk about it because it’s ‘too sad’. My oldest (at the time almost 9, now almost 13) still cries at night occasionally over his brother. I feel like how I handle my grief will direct how they handle theirs. They’ve been hurt enough and I owe it to them to move on myself and give life a chance. If I lose myself in grieving over something I can’t change then they’ve not only lost a brother, but a wife and mother as well.

Time has healed me about as well as it can. I’m okay with that, too. I have often wondered if I had lost a daughter instead of a son, would things be different? What if I had a rainbow daughter and said goodbye to my chance for a son? Yes, that would have added on to the grieving. I’d like to think, though, that I would eventually come around to the point I’m at now, but I can’t say for sure how long that would have taken.

Life just sucks sometimes. Period. Understatement, I know, but true nonetheless. It helps to know I’m not alone, that there are other grieving mothers out there in all various stages of grief and no, I’m not alone. But this grieving mother is okay, for now.

I’m okay and I’m good with that.


  1. i understand. it's been over three years since my daughter died. we don't have a shrine, and her ashes and my keepsakes about her are in my closet. safe, precious, but away from view because frankly i don't need to grieve constantly. but we have planted a tree, i wear a necklace with her initials and i'm thinking about a tattoo. i think of her often, but try not to let her death alter the rest of my life in a major way. true, it was a horrible, horrific day and no time passing will change it....but learning how to continue with life is part of grieving. i didn't want to get stuck in my bed curled up in a ball crying forever. i hope every baby loss mom feels as comfortable as you do expressing the way you have lived since your son's death.

    1. Well said. I am also planning a tattoo :-) I guess I am to the point where the real pain of grieving has passed and I'm at a crossroads: I can pick up and move on with my life or surround myself with sadness and memories that I can't escape. Every one of us deserves another chance to be happy and the opportunity to let go of what we can. Small steps. Thank you, and wishing you peace as well!