Today, my Mom is back with a post reflecting back on yesterday’s candlelight Wave of Light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Remembrance Day. I’d like to thank the dozens of people all over the country – family and friends – who took the time out on a Saturday night to light a candle in honor of our sweet baby. It means the world to us. Watch our video message and candlelighting. ~Christina
Yesterday, I woke up feeling angry not having Emmett with us. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Since Emmett’s due date has passed, I feel as though I missed another milestone and many other milestones.
I keep thinking I should be with Brett and my daughter, holding a new baby, cooing and aww-ing and making all kinds of crazy noises that grandparents make. Fussing over how to change a diaper and reminding everyone, “hold his tiny head carefully.” That’s what grandparents are supposed to do. Is this how you’re supposed to feel after a loss? Does anyone else out there feel like this as a grandparent who has experienced a loss?
Just last week, my family had another tragedy. My sister’s fiancé lost his only son, Brandon, to a violent crime. What’s really tragic is, he just turned 21 a week earlier. He had a lifetime of things to still experience. Now, there’s another parent struggling with grief. Another parent living with the “what if’s,” regrets and pain. Another parent changed by circumstances. It was extremely hard to see all of Brandon’s friends at his memorial service. All of them so heartbroken and so young. How will his friends be affected by his passing? I know for me, as I said on my previous blog, whether someone lives 90 seconds or 99 years, in Brandon’s situation, 21 years, his loss impacts our lives.
It hurts to hear from people when they say, “Oh, your daughter is young, she can have another child” or “You’ll have another grandchild.” When I hear this, I feel like I’m supposed to forget Emmett. I’m supposed to make my daughter forget Emmett. Why should I trivialize his life because he didn’t live 99 years? Again, anyone else feel like this?
This week, I attended a grief support group for the first time because, sometimes, I feel like I’m trying to control my emotions and try to stay strong for my daughter, sister and everyone else. It also doesn’t help that I got laid-off from work, and these are all life-changing events. But, I think I’m so busy trying to help everyone else. It’s so hard to admit that you need help, especially living as a woman in this modern age. It’s very humbling.
When it was my turn to share in the group, I had that “grief burst” moment that Christina shared in her previous blog. I realized then, how much I really miss Emmett. In the group, we are encouraged to freely say the deceased person’s name. They say, it helps with the healing process. While I was sitting in the group, I felt like I was peeling an onion and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Ever get those burst of tears? I was so conflicted, too. I felt so bad for my daughter and her husband, knowing they are still living in this pain. I can’t say enough that as a parent, you wish you could take your child’s pain away, but sadly, that’s unrealistic. This is life. As Christina and I have come to say to each other, “this is our reality.”
It brings to mind one of my favorite Christian songs, “I Can Only Imagine,” by MercyMe:
I love this song because it gives me a vision of what it would be like when I meet Jesus and Emmett again. Walking, dancing and playing in heaven. I am only comforted having this thought. I am only at peace knowing this. What a wonderful place! No more tears, no more pains, no illness, no sorrow.
I can only hope for those of you readers that are touched by our story of Emmett, you are reminded to keep those you have lost close in your hearts. Never forget. Never trivialize their lives. Keep their memory near. Imagine the possibilities.
Different by Jamie Slocum and Mollye Rees
“I have had the right to stand and fight
But it would have still been wrong
I’ve had the chance to prove a hurtful truth
I had to let it go and just move on….
‘Cause there’s a gift called grace
That’s captured my life
Though the way of the world is power and pride…
I want to be tender with mercy
Guiding all I do
So when others talk about me
let it be because I am different
Let the difference be love….”