I honestly don’t know how to start this new chapter; my own or Joey’s new story. I have re-written it a million times already but nothing seems right or good enough. The story I know is a story of the past and the story I want is one of the future, but the story of the present – what is that supposed to look like?
Joey died on August 12th at 3:45 in the morning. For three months now we have been separated from our youngest son. Three months since I whispered: “We love you; it’s OK to let go” over and over in his ear. Three months since I ran my fingers through his wispy blonde hair. Three months since I kissed his little nose and forehead, held his fragile little body close to my heart and stroked his soft hands and feet. Three months since he took his very last breath in his daddy’s arms. And three months since David rested his head on his brother’s chest and said his final goodbye.
There’s nothing natural about burying your own child, yet there’s something beautiful, something so sacred about not only being someone’s first but also their last. Witnessing their very first breath and holding their hand for the very last – a pain and an honor too deep and too profound for the simple human mind.
I miss my son and I wrestle with the reality of this ‘new’ life. No increase or change in faith, hope, or love could ever change that. My three-year-old sweet, innocent little boy is never coming back. No new memories, only the never ending list of ‘nevers’ and ‘no mores’. All the things I wish for but will never have.
GM-1 robbed us of so much, but death is the ultimate thief. It is cold, raw and it feels so definitive. Death took our son and it took our innocence…but it didn’t take our hope. Not even death can steal hope, because hope never dies. Hope is more than successes and happy endings. It transcends an empty crib and a terminal diagnosis. Hope didn’t cure my son and it won’t ease my pain, but it will carry my broken heart and tired soul until I’ll see him again.
And, hope will help me write the beginning of this new, sacred story.