Jonah's Pictures

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Evan’s Little Brother

Today would have been Jonah’s two-month birthday. Things have been going okay but this morning was a struggle. Today was also Evan’s last day of preschool for the school year and after I dropped him off, I started thinking about how our lives have changed since September when school started. I was eight weeks pregnant so, by this time, I imagined that John and I would be adjusting to life with a newborn and Evan would be discovering the joys and hassles of a sibling. I never imagined that this school year would have been filled with anxiety, numerous ultrasounds, hospital stays, and the pain that no parent wants to experience.

I feel that we have worked through the intense grief that immediately followed Jonah’s death and life is feeling more okay. Not great or good, but okay. I’ve been trying so hard to look for the goodness in this situation and I’ve found some but I just can’t make peace with the fact that Evan has lost his sibling. When we first told Evan that he was going to have a little brother, he said, “I’m going to teach him EVERYTHING!” He was so excited and it’s just so hard for me to accept that their relationship will not be the one I envisioned. With Jonah’s death, someone lost a child, a grandchild, a nephew, or a future friend but it’s Evan’s loss that hits me the hardest. Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child and I wanted something different for him.

Some of John’s coworkers gave us a gift certificate for a greenhouse and we picked out a tree that was planted in our front yard two weeks ago. The tree has been a real comfort to us. We give it water each day and we’ll be able to watch it grow. I now understand why trees and gardening are so popular with the bereaved. Some of the women from my book group also donated a tree that will be planted in a park in our neighborhood. The tree will be located near the playground where Evan and Jonah would have spent time together.

From time to time, Evan will bring up the subject of Jonah by saying something like “can I go to the hospital and visit baby Jonah?” or “baby Jonah will never come home.” Our hearts break to hear him talk about his brother that way but we are still glad to have included him in Jonah’s life. Maybe he will be able to retain some memories, and maybe he won’t, but we will are all better people for having Jonah in our lives.


  1. I know how you feel about wanting Evan to have a sibling. That's all I think about. Will Vashon ever be an Uncle?? I know seems strange to wonder so far in the future but it's what I do. I think the tree was a wonderful gift. I think about you guys all the time. Still and will always be in my prayers. We're connected by PUV:(

  2. Kelly, I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I went through the same emotions when one day I realized how Abbie and Raleigh would be affected by having lost their brother. I am doing well, and really dosee the good in what we have been through. I miss him so dearly though. I would love to talk with you again sometime.