8 years ago today I was beyond devastated. I thought I would never smile or feel true joy again. It's strange how we move through these paths of grief. I could barely function for at least the first 18 months. Then, when I would feel joy, I felt guilty. How could I be happy when he is not here? I would cry almost every time I talked about him. The pain of missing him was still all encompassing. As time goes on I find myself changing. Oh it stills hurts and I still miss him more than I could ever put into words. I still wish I could go back in time and keep him awake all night that night. But now I can talk about him without crying every time. When I start to get angry that he was taken something will happen- like last week receiving an e-mail that a family was told their baby would be born sleeping and they may need Mason's Foundation to help pay for his burial. Then I feel selfish! I got to hold him and kiss him for 2 years 2 months and 8 days!! I got so smell his sweet breath and change his not so sweet diapers! I got to hear him laugh and hear him cry. Those parents didn't get to do that. Their precious angel never did those things. So I re-think this a bit and realize that I was lucky. I was lucky he lived through that first month when they didn't think he would. I wish he could have stayed longer but I am so thankful for the time we had. I feel as though this tragedy has helped me be more empathetic, not only when we are helping these families who are just starting down this path, but also in my career as I help other families at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Oh precious boy! My throat is swelling and tears are coming. I went there, back to that day even though I tried not to. I thought about every second of that day and of tomorrow when I would hold you for the very last time. I think it is ok that the tears are falling- I don't let them very much anymore. Sometimes we just need to let that pain out. This is MY time- to be selfish, to hurt and to wallow in it for a little while. But tomorrow I will go to work and smile and no one will know that I spent this evening grieving for you. Tomorrow I will be ready for the calls again from parents who are preparing to do what we have already done- bury their beloved child. And I will help them. Because I am strong and you helped make me that way. I love you to the moon and back.