I remember the day I found out we were expecting Silas, and the overwhelming joy and gratitude I felt after such a long journey to get him.
I remember feeling grateful for morning sickness because my baby was growing each day.
I remember worrying that everything would be ok because I was already so in love with our baby and couldn’t fathom losing him.
I remember how easy it was to change my diet due to gestational diabetes because his health was my number one concern.
I remember praying for his health and safety.
I remember how quickly he came into our lives with a 3.5 hour labor and how I worried I would deliver him in the car on our way to the hospital. We made it…20 minutes before he was born!
I remember asking if he was ok because he didn’t cry right away, and the relief I felt when he did fill up his lungs so he could announce his arrival.
I remember holding him and thinking, “I waited SO LONG for you.”
I remember the fear when the doctor came to tell us he was in the NICU. I barely knew him, but couldn’t bear to lose him.
I remember the gratitude when they assured me he’d be ok and how my heart broke for the parents of the other babies in the NICU who had such a long road ahead.
I remember watching Lily and Milo examine their brother with such wonder and amazement. They, also, immediately fell in love with him.
I remember bringing him home.
I remember loving being a mom of three.
I remember breastfeeding my baby.
I remember being glad to have the opportunity to change his diapers.
I remember the way it felt to hold him: in my arms, against my heart, with his head against my cheek.
I remember how my heart would break when he cried.
And how he calmed when I sang “Close to You” to him.
I remember the day my world stopped spinning.
I flashback to the hallway in the doctor’s office.
I remember praying for God to save his life. Begging, pleading to keep him there with me. Wanting to bargain with God for his life, knowing I had absolutely nothing to offer in return that would be worthy of my child’s life.
I remember the fear.
I remember the update: that he was not breathing on his own and his heart had stopped beating.
I remember wailing from the deepest, darkest part of my soul.
I remember praying even harder.
I remember the painful truth that I was not in control.
I remember the doctor’s red, tear-filled eyes as she knelt before me and told me the worst words I’ve ever heard.
I remember kissing my baby, crying, “My baby, my baby, my baby…please come back to me,” as I rocked him back and forth. I think I rocked him because it hurt too much to sit still.
I remember heaven feeling so very close and knew I would be there with him one day.
I remember wondering how my heart could still be beating when I felt like I was dying.
I remember my children holding their brother. Lily’s red eyes, devastated, her lower lip, quivering. Milo, touching Silas’ ear, telling us he moved because he could not understand that Silas was gone when he was right there..
I remember my husband, my rock, holding our baby, needing a moment with just him.
I remember sinking to the floor because I could not stand.
I remember God catching every piece of my shattered heart.
I remember asking, “Why?” I am still waiting for an answer…but am not expecting one this side of heaven.
I remember feeling as if I were walking on unsteady ground as we left the doctor’s office without our baby.
I remember looking at my husband as we drove away in our truck, telling him we have to stay together forever in spite of this, and how he looked at my like I was crazy to think this could pull us apart. I remember thinking he must really love me.
I remember looking up at the sky asking, “Where did you go?”
I remember dreading going home because it was no longer complete.
I remember walking into our house, seeing him everywhere. Sitting on the couch, staring straight ahead, tears endlessly falling from my eyes, feeling the weight of him in my arms.
I remember Milo waking the next morning and asking me, “Mommy, where’s your baby?”
I remember explaining death to my children. How Silas wasn’t here anymore because his spirit, the part of him that makes up how he feels and what he likes and loves, left his body because his heart couldn’t beat anymore.
I remember feeling like a zombie, like a stranger in this world. When did the world become such a cruel place?
I remember the nausea that accompanied the grief.
I remember seeing all of his clothes, his bouncy seat, his diaper bag…all of them rendered meaningless for the future. I hated to see them. I hated to pack them away.
I remember waking from the flashback nightmares to see his empty co-sleeper by our bed…my nightmare was real.
I remember wrapping myself in his afghan.
I remember the rush of help and support by acquaintances, friends, and family, and the gratitude I felt. I will never forget those kindnesses then and the ones who still extend that kindness today, two years later.
I remember being offered so many hugs, crying on shoulders, being held up by those who offered comfort.
I remember what felt surreal: donating his heart valves, picking out his grave-site, planning his funeral, burying my baby.
I remember and cherish the gifts people gave to us in remembrance of his life.
I remember the unfairness…it still feels so unfair.
I remember the comfort people give to me when they speak of Silas…whether it be a memory of his life, or the aftermath of his death.
I remember the isolation of loss…even in a room full of people. And I remember the friends who reached out to let me know I was not alone.
I remember every mother who came to me to say that the trials and frustrations of motherhood melted away when she thought of Silas and me and how everything can change in the blink of an eye.
I am forever affected by the new perspective Silas has brought to my life.
I remember watching my children grieve, and grieve with them still today.
His death created a dividing line in my life: Before he died. After he died. All memories fall on either side of that line.
I remember hurting every single moment and how long and painful the healing process is.
But, when these things overwhelm me, I remember why it hurts so much…I remember the love. The love that makes this loss so cruel–that love is the beautiful part of life. And it is worth the cruelty, even though it is a wound that will never heal in this lifetime.