Happened= Your Past Tense

I had a conversation with a close family member previous to the birth of Twin 1 and Twin 2.  You can read about them here and here.  She had expressed her feelings about the impending birth and the behavior of my MIL when the Big Brother was born.  We had just gotten word that our son was ill the evening before his birth.

My MIL had been visiting baby and Mama.  She held the baby for a moment and then shoved him back at his mother and said “how lucky for you.”

Well….ummm…  I want to say this, I am not defending my MIL’s behavior in any way.  I really have not gotten into the issues with the In-Laws much and that is a story for another day.  Let us just summarize in saying their behavior is questionable at times.

That being said.  I replied to this family member with the following:

Yes, I agree that if she did not feel she could maintain her composure than she should not have gone to her hospital room.  Everyone would have understood.

We were in the middle of a very stressful situation. Implying that some leeway should be given to the subject.

I was promptly told:

I want to start by saying what happened to you was tragic.  To lose your child was very bad. But, if she treats her like that again when the Twins are born I am done with her.  I will have nothing to do with her and I will have to say something about it.  Why would she do that to her?  How could she be so rude?

I paused for a moment and explained to her that I agreed that she should have known her limits.  I also mentioned that we will not be visiting the hospital, nor will we be visiting at the house when they return home.  We are not able to handle the situation.  You might as well be prepared for our absence.  We are so very happy for them but emotionally we cannot be close for now.  I believe I stunned her.

You will note above that she used the past tense, four times in two small sentences.  It is these two sentences that haunt me.  The act of my son dying may have taken place 40 months ago.  However, the loss of our son is not in the past.  It is our everything.  Past, Present and Future.

  • Our son is not a happy-go-lucky 3-year-old
  • He is not experiencing the birth of his new cousins
  • He will not be running in the leaves as they drop from the trees this fall
  • He will not be the one waking us up at 2 am to open presents from Santa in 3 months
  • He is not learning how to ride a tricycle for the first time
  • He is not awaiting the first snow fall to build a snowman
  • He is not the one I go to pickup on the way home from work each day
  • He did not spend in summer playing on the beach with his cousins
  • He will not be celebrating his 4th birthday next year
  • He is not entertaining us with stories of preschool today
  • I will not be making his favorites for supper tonight
  • We will not be reading him a story at bedtime
  • We will not go trick or treating next month.  Instead, I will take a fall arrangement to his grave.

Each and every day, his room continues to be empty as does the back seat of our car.  I realize to those in our lives, family, friends, acquaintances.  That 40 months ago, they lost a cousin, nephew, grandson, neighbor.  Forty months ago we lost much more.

I want to apologize for my next statement.  It is very harsh and truly hammers it home.

There are days when I have to bite my tongue from asking people “Choose which of your children that you would rather not have.  The memories of their life, the joy of their being, the anticipation of their future.  Which of your children do you wish where not here? “

I did not choose for my son to die.



2 responses

  1. I am sorry that this is your reality and that your extended family doesn’t know how to be supportive of you. I wish I could say something that would make a difference, but since I cannot, please just know that you are loved and you are supported from me on the other side of the country.

    September 30, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    • Jo

      Thank you so much and a big hug for you!

      October 1, 2015 at 9:52 am

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