Today was a tough day because it was the one-month anniversary of Jonah’s birth and death. I spent the day thinking about how he would look. If he was like his brother, I imagine that he would be starting to fill out from the constant nursing and that he would be close to smiling. Evan smiled for the first time when he was five-weeks-old.
I feel conflicted about being around babies and “baby stuff.” I went to a department store today and as I walked past the infant section, I made a point of looking in the other direction. I just couldn’t stand to see all the cute little clothes that we don’t need. But as I was leaving the store, I walked past a woman carrying a bucket car seat with a blue blanket draped over it. I couldn’t stop myself from turning around to look at the baby. I had to know if he looked like a one-month-old, but I couldn’t tell because he was covered up…
We visited John’s brother and his family this weekend. At one point, I was talking to John’s brother about the contacts in his cell phone and he said he would list Evan as “favorite nephew.” I jokingly said “That’s because he’s your only nephew!” and as soon as I said it, I felt so guilty for denying Jonah’s existence. I realize that the simple question “How many children do you have?” is no longer easy to answer.
Last week, John and I attended a support group for bereaved parents who lost a child under the age of one. About ten families attended the meeting and everyone had an opportunity to tell their child’s story. As the first woman talked about her loss, I fought the urge to cross the room and hug her. But as the evening went on and more stories were shared, I realized that no amount of hugging could erase the sadness in that room. When it was our turn to speak, I offered to share our story. I started by saying, “We have a three-year-old son named Evan but the reason we’re here . . . “ and I completely lost it. Thank goodness John was by my side (how many times have I said that!) to take over and finish telling Jonah’s story. While the evening was emotionally grueling, I’m glad we attended the meeting. While Jonah is no longer with us physically, we keep him alive by talking about him and telling his story.
Happy one-month birthday, little dude!