I’m Giving My Son to God

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV

IMAG0849 edit

I prayed many months for my son. I wondered if the Lord would bless us with a third child. I didn’t know the Lord’s plan for our family. I only knew I desired another child in our family, and believing that desire comes from the Lord, I continued to go to Him in prayer, searching for His will. I figured He would take the desire from my heart if it was not part of His plan. I clung to the scripture verse, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”

I never knew how one day the next verse of that scripture would impact my life. While Hannah raised her son for a few short years, and I only did for six short weeks, we both were and are prompted to give our sons to God to do His work. However, my son’s work is heavenly.

The day we lost Silas, it was obvious that a greater power was in control. We were in the right place at the right time, and my son’s life could not be kept on this earth, despite the efforts of the doctor and the paramedics who began attempting to save his life while he was yet still breathing. His death was unexpected and unavoidable. I pleaded for his life, and that prayer was not answered in the way I had asked. I still don’t understand.

When the ministers came to the doctor’s office, we gathered for a prayer. As Randy prayed, he spoke of Mary giving her Son. I identified with her in a way I had never before understood. I looked up and my heart prayed a prayer of thankfulness that the Lord did not ask me to GIVE my son, but instead took him, for I was not strong enough to give him to God.

My sister, Brittany, shared the song “I Give You to His Heart” by Alison Krauss with me after I lost Silas. It’s a song for Moses, from his mother, as she gave him up to God in order to save his life from the Pharaoh who ordered the slaughter of male babes of Israelite and Hebrew descent in a vain attempt to keep one of the sons of Israel from overthrowing Pharaoh’s reign.

The wind is blowing down the quiet river
A shining road to carry you along
Oh baby boy, my love will last forever
If you’re to live, I must give you up to God

I know our God will guide, protect and keep you
Teach you faith and hold you by the heart
Though your mother’s heart is broken by your leaving
Our Father knows just who He is and who you are

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

The wind, it blows you down the silent river
A shining road that leaves me all alone
A life for you is worth losing you forever
Someday we’ll stand in God’s fair land forever home

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you, in God’s loving plan, might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

At first, I could identify with only portions of this song. I couldn’t fully relate with it since Moses’ life was spared and Silas’ was not. As time has passed, I have come to understand that Silas’ death is not the end. It just can’t be. The promise of new life in heaven has never been so real, or so close, to my heart.

I wrestle with many thoughts. I know that life is not fair. Why do some live a long life? Why are some taken before even a breath has been breathed? We are not all promised the same things. Most of my friends will get to keep all the children they have borne, while I did not. Even though we lead similar lives, hold similar beliefs and ideals, and love God, I did not get to keep my son and there is nothing I have done that has caused this to happen. I don’t understand why this has happened. I don’t know why my heart has been shattered while others will never even understand a portion of this cruel pain. I would never wish this on my worst enemy. I only wish I had been able to keep my boy.

In my grief and on my road to healing, I have felt that acceptance is more important than answers. I have no choice other than to accept that I have lost my son. I try every day to accept what has happened, and accept that heaven holds my boy while I miss him endlessly.

A couple of months ago, when this song came to my mind, and I listened to it again. For the first time, I felt a sense that I will give Silas back to God.

I know that seems a little odd since he’s already been taken from my arms, but if Silas were here with me, I would be taking him to God for His watchful care and guidance in Silas’ life, even as I did in those six weeks, and the nine months prior.

I messaged my friend, Christy, and shared with her this song and my thoughts. She and I had been praying that month that I would be able to trust God and trust His plans for the future. Trust was the focus of our prayers that month, because it is hard to trust anything in life after such a traumatic loss. It makes you question when the good will turn to worse than bad. This song has shown me an element of trust. I know not what is next for Silas, but I can place my baby in His hands and trust Him where my knowledge fails.

My heart is broken. I feel alone without my baby. But, in my loss, my Silas has gained the riches of heaven. His body would not allow him to live on this earth, but in giving him back to God, he will live. The day his life left this world, he was born into a new life.

I will give Silas to His heart. Over and over again. For it is hard to trust what I cannot see.

The Baby

My Grandpa Kevin passed away one week ago.  When I told my kids Grandpa Kevin had left us, Milo said, “But I don’t want him to be because I love him.”  Lily is always so sweet to remind us that he is alive in heaven.  🙂

God saw him getting tired,

a cure was not to be.

He wrapped him in His loving arms

and whispered, “Come with me.”

He suffered much in silence,

his spirit did not bend.

He faced his pain with courage,

until the very end.

He tried so hard to stay with us

but his fight was not in vain,

God took him to His loving home

and freed him from the pain.

(Unknown Author)

Until the past year when his health was failing, he and Grandma Ruth would travel down for the kids’ birthday parties, and we would visit them at least once a year.  My kids are so blessed to have gotten to know a great-grandparent so well, and they will continue to know Grandma Ruth in the future.

When Milo was born, they came to stay with us to take care of Lily while we were at the hospital. When Silas was born last summer, my aunt graciously offered to care for my grandpa so Grandma Ruth could come down for his birth.  She was scheduled to fly in two days before his due date (Milo made us wait a few days after his, so we weren’t expecting any different.) but he came one day before her arrival.  She came straight from the airport to the hospital to meet our Silas.

Grandma and Grandpa

Our family traveled to his funeral.  Christopher and Milo were pallbearers with the rest of the grandsons and grandsons-in-law.  My grandmother asked if I would like to play the piano for his service.  I agreed to play the prelude only because I knew I was still too emotionally raw from my own child’s funeral, not yet seven months before.  I love the songs from musicals my grandfather loved, and I am so glad I agreed to play those songs for him, even though I did not feel strong enough to do so.

My grandmother wrote down some thoughts for the minister to share at the end of the service, and below are some of those words.

In February, early in his illness, Kevin was dreaming and talking aloud like he often did, when he asked Ruth, “Can you see all the people around the room?” he stated, pointing to the ceiling.
Ruth replied, “Do you see people you know?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“What are their names?”
As he pointed to them he named, “Melvin & Olive, my parents, Dale my brother, your brother David, and the Baby.”
“Do you see anyone else you know?” Ruth asked.
“No, but lots of people.”
Ruth left the room for a second to contain herself.
When she returned Kevin asked, “Where have you been? All these people are here to celebrate. The other rooms are full too, lots of people all around so we can have a celebration. Somebody keeps carrying the baby all around!”
“A celebration?” she questioned.
“A BIG celebration!” he replied.
…On Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 5:05 PM there was a BIG celebration in HEAVEN and no more pain!

Until this was read at the service, I had not known that in the weeks before my grandpa’s death, he had seen Silas.  I was so surprised, because in the stories I have heard about people who are nearing death seeing loved ones lost, the loved ones are usually a part of their past, their earlier years, and yet, my grandfather never got to meet Silas and Silas had so recently joined our family.

Silas is surrounded by loved ones lost who are carrying him around, but when those words were read, I pictured Christopher’s mother, Silas’ grandma, holding him, just as I did the day Silas left my arms.  Now that my grandfather has finally met my baby boy, I picture him  standing tall and carrying my Silas all around heaven, especially the places that are similar to our woods and forests for my grandpa loved being out in nature.

Before my grandpa passed away, at my request, my grandma asked him to give Silas hugs and kisses and lots of love from his mama.

Mommy, where’s your baby?

“Mommy, where’s your baby?” asked Milo as we came to Brittany’s house to pick up our children that night. I could barely stand as it was, and that question caused nausea to roil in the pit of my stomach. How do I help them understand when I don’t understand?

“Mommy, where’s my baby?” asked Milo the next morning.

How do you tell your son that his brother died and is never coming back in a way a three year old can understand? It was unreal, even to us. Milo and Lily had held their still brother, but Milo could not comprehend the permanence, and Lily barely could.

My first thought was to say his heart and soul left his body, but to a three year old who sees the world in black and white, how can a heart leave your body?

I placed him on the counter in front of me and looked into his eyes and said Silas’ spirit, the part of him that makes up the things he loves and the things that make him sad or happy, left his body and flew to heaven to be with Jesus.  Something made him too sick and his heart could not keep beating to keep him alive.

I explained the same to Lily when she woke to a home filled with grief. Lily had fewer questions than Milo. She often draws pictures of Silas and listens to songs that remind her of him. She cries, yet Milo doesn’t. They have different levels of understanding. I believe they will reach new layers of grief through the years as they begin to understand the reality of death.

Milo asked me these questions about his brother over and over and over. My heart breaks over and over and over with my own sadness and with the sadness of my children.  Now Milo says, “I want my brother, Silas. But he died. I miss him. I’m so, so sad.”

My children often ask me, “Are you so, so, so, so, so, so sad about Silas?” I tell them I am so sad, but I’m so happy they’re here with me. Now, whenever they ask me that question, they say, “But you’re so, so happy I’m here with you?” I’m glad they know what’s in my heart.  It must be so confusing for them to understand how I love all of my children equally when I cry for one child who’s missed beyond belief.  Whenever I tell them I love them, Lily says, “And you love SySy up in heaven?”  He’s always included in everything they think, say, and do.  ❤

How do you explain heaven to a three year old?  …to a five year old?

Heaven is better than the toy store, better than the swimming pool, better than Chuck E. Cheese’s, better than Disney World.  Silas is with God and Jesus. He’s with Grandma Shirley and she loves him so much and covers him in kisses. He’s with MeeMee and PaPa. He’s with all of our loved ones who’ve died and gone to heaven before him.

But, even though he’s in all that glory, we still wish he were here.

three kids edit

Moving Forward

I often think of what I want my life to look like as I move forward. Even though it seemed as if my life could have ended the day my baby died, there really is no direction other than forward, and I want to be ready to step in that direction for my children, for my husband, for myself. But, it feels differently than it used to feel.

I think about having another child, growing our family to a family of six the way I pictured it to be, and now, having experienced the worst loss imaginable, it doesn’t seem like we have just have a chance of risks that could affect anyone. All of the many risks seem way too real now that we have lived it. Miscarriage. Stillbirth. Infant loss. Childbirth complications. Sometimes I want to say to God, I’ve experienced the worst loss imaginable, please don’t give me another baby only to take my child away again–at any stage of his or her life…

And thus begins my bargaining…

Since this tragedy has happened to me, I should be immune to such possibilities in the future, because the trials in life should work like vaccines are intended to work. I want to tell God, I could never handle it if in the future I would become pregnant and it should end sadly.

But, He knows this, and He has promised to be there and catch me when I fall to pieces. I KNOW this is true…it happened to me on August 8, 2013. I am reassured that He will bring me through whatever comes my way, for He has, and He is, and He will. Because of that reassurance, I will not tell God the things which I am capable of bearing.  I do not want to make choices in my life, choices based in fear, to try to shield our family from this tragedy ever occurring again, for if I did I would sever the opportunity for great blessings to come.

I am grateful that in my upbringing, I was given a good religious foundation, but I would not say my faith was concrete until the day my still son was placed in my arms and I was filled with pain and devastation seemingly powerful enough to cause my heart to disintegrate. God caught the pieces as my heart shattered, and I had not yet had the clarity of thought to ask Him for help.  God chooses the most unlikely hearts to witness of His love, for I always thought I would be the most bitter person in the world if I lost a child.

Since losing my Silas my heart has felt that nothing ugly and bitter could come from loving one so precious. In the anguish and sorrow, I have known and understood how blessed I have been by being Silas’ mother. Being able to see the blessings when consumed with grief is a gift.

Moving forward I choose to trust.

I choose to hope.

I choose to open my heart to the possibility of more love.

I choose to not let fear control my actions.

Though, it scares me to think I could fall from a broken emotional state, whereas before, I was more emotionally whole. I move forward while daily handing my fears and struggles over to the Lord for He is willing to bear them, and He is so much more capable than I.


A difficult day

I woke in the early AM hours after a crazy dream I cannot remember. As I was thinking while I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I remembered back to 5 months ago. In the early AM hours of the night on August 8th, Silas cried for about 4 minutes as if he were were in pain.

Christopher even woke, and we turned on the light to check him all over because he wasn’t calming in my arms or attempting to eat.

Then he quieted, but didn’t want to nurse, which struck me as strange, but I wondered if he had tired from crying. I thought I would wait to see if he would eat in another hour to decide if I needed to call the doctor, and he did eat when he woke the next hour.

Of course, this memory brought back the guilt of not knowing something was going so terribly wrong. I felt regret that I didn’t take him to the hospital that night. Maybe there would’ve been a chance the doctors could’ve figured out what was happening.

But, how many times have my older children done that as babies? It seemed like those “strange-normal” things babies do. How was I to know that I would leave the pediatrician’s office that afternoon without my beloved son?

How cruel to wake in the middle of the night to be taken back 5 painful months, to feel full of regret over something that cannot be changed and couldn’t have been prevented. I can’t help wishing we could have prevented his death, and I will never stop wishing that.

This morning, after Lily got on the bus, Milo and I set out to run some errands. I should NEVER go to any grocery store during the daytime on the 8th of any month, because every time I turned around, there was a mother with a baby in an infant carrier.

I couldn’t help but think, “That should be me with my baby in my cart.” But, it isn’t.

Most of the time I think it “could have” turned out differently. It is so hard to feel something “should have” been a certain way when it obviously wasn’t, otherwise it “would have” been. I can’t say that this was how life was meant to be, because no mother could ever conceive such a thought.

And yet, here I am. Life didn’t turn out in the way I intended. How do I grapple with the thought that this was how it was meant to be? I don’t.  I just accept that this is the way it is.

Because this is the way in which my life has gone, I will do my best to continue the beauty my son brought to my life.

edit photoSilas,
I don’t know how to live this life without you, but somehow, life keeps going and my heart keeps beating. So, I let it pull me forward while I am too weak, and when I am stronger, I will bravely step forward, because I am not living without you, for I carry you in my heart, and the profound love I have for you fills each beat of my heart.



Christmas will be different this year…

…for we expected to share it with Silas.

I guess I feel detached. Especially in this holiday season. We are a happy family, even in the midst of our sorrow, but our hearts are raw because we are missing someone. The holidays are a time for drawing close to those you cherish most, and I cannot do that with the one for whom my heart aches.

I feel defeated in this season of love and joy. The time of year in which even Scrooge can find happiness, I am left wanting, aching, and feeling incomplete. I am not in the joyful part of my journey yet. I feel it will come with time. Right now is my season of mourning for what has been lost, and also my season of hope for the future. All of the holiday merriment that currently seems to envelop every aspect of our lives is overwhelming. I feel as though I will be viewed as one who takes the good times for granted. I am not. I am just trying to figure out how to enjoy the love and good tidings in the midst of my heartache. This year I will slow down and embrace all of these feelings and allow my heart to grieve and heal.

Last year was full of the expectation of the happiness Silas would bring to our lives.  I wish I were back in those happy moments.  We announced Silas’ upcoming arrival last Christmas:

Christmas stockingsIMG_0594I look back at this photo from 2012 and feel it is more complete than a photo from this year will ever be for even though you cannot see Silas, he is there, our beating hearts so close together.

This year and every year after, I carry him in my heart.

The sparkle and glitter are different this year. There is no anticipation. There is no excitement. My heart is searching, exactly for what, I do not know. I look up and see the dark blue sky with twinkling stars, feel the cold, fresh air, smell the fireplaces warming loving homes, and there is a halo of loving reverence as I hold dear in my heart loved ones on earth and loved ones in heaven.


That day: The worst day of my life.

I started writing this five weeks after my Silas left my arms. I abandoned it only partially finished. When I thought I could finally record what happened that day, I realized I couldn’t go back there in such depth because I was finally at a point in which the tragic events were not running through my head continuously like a movie reel repeating the same scene over and over.

In dealing with the lingering trauma and shock of our sudden loss, I have come back to finish our story of this day. I feel it is necessary since the span of time that creates the gap between the present and the memories causes it to feel so distant, and at times I am shocked when I realize this is my reality. We often think things too good to be true, but the opposite is also very real–this is too terrible to be true. I’ve been told this is very common with sudden loss.

I’m leaving this writing as it is, and you will see that the timeframe changes as I have written it in pieces, but even though it says five weeks ago, six weeks ago, four months ago, it is a writing of what happened on one specific date–August 8, 2013. This account is raw, and it leaves me feeling vulnerable, but I have found writing and sharing to be very cathartic on this journey through my grief.

The Worst Day of My Life

{Five weeks ago} 7:30pm, I sat in a catatonic like state with tears pouring down my face. Holding my hands out in front of me, I would wonder how it could possibly be true that my baby wasn’t actually there while I could see him so vividly in my mind. Devastation. I cried from the depths of my soul, “My baby — I just don’t understand.”

{Five weeks ago} my day started normally. We had a playdate with our friends. My friend brought breakfast and lunch stuff and busied herself in my kitchen while I got to snuggle my little boy. I am so grateful that I had Cheryl over that day because it gave me more time with Silas since she was attending to the kids’ needs. I remember stealing some precious moments just looking at his beautiful face and smiling back at him hoping he could see the love for him in my eyes. God knew this would comfort me.

{Five weeks ago} I loaded up my kids in the car and we went to Silas’ doctor’s appointment. He had lost a couple of ounces and was put on reflux meds and the doctor wanted to check him to make sure he was doing ok. She had been keeping close tabs on him since he had prolonged “breastmilk jaundice.” He was checked by the pediatrician and we were talking about how he’d turned a corner since his jaundice was almost gone. I told her that I thought the reflux meds were helping him because he nursed right after he had spit up, which was something he had been unable to do before that, I assume because the reflux caused him to burn with discomfort.

I also told her that I thought he was starting to nurse more since the jaundice sleepiness was waning. Next, we were going to talk about getting him to gain weight. She asked me to stay and nurse him so we could get an “after” weight to see how much milk he was getting. She turned off the lights and told me to get him undressed to keep him cooler and more awake to eat well. He had started fussing before she left the room and I told her that he had cried for about four minutes as if in pain during the night, and she said at six weeks of age colic can start to heighten.

He continued fussing and started crying in what I thought was a pain cry, just like the night before. I tried calming him, shushing him, walking with him, and I sang his favorite song “(They Long to Be) Close to You” by the Carpenters. He usually calmed when I sang it to him. I sang it a lot while I was pregnant, and I think he recognized it. But, it didn’t calm his crying. During those five minutes of crying, I had to scold Milo twice since he was flicking the light on and off and opening and closing the door and just bouncing back and forth like three year olds can do. I hate that I had to scold Milo during those last moments, but I did so in a rational way, and I was trying to set up a calmer environment for Silas’ sake, though it took a while to shake the guilt.

{Five weeks ago} my baby stopped crying and I tried to nurse him. He was doing that little breathing hiccup thing babies do after they cry hard. He didn’t attempt to nurse and he didn’t try to push away as he usually did when he didn’t want to eat. He started to feel oddly limp and cold. I held him out in front of me and watched his breathing. One of his eyes was wandering toward the outside and it seemed odd since he was usually inclined to go cross-eyed as most babies do.

I laid him on the table and examined him for odd behavior. “Silas, baby, are you ok?” Something wasn’t right to me, but he was breathing and I was so confused. I thought, if I’m crazy, I’m crazy, but I’m taking him out to the doctor. “Dr. Peterson, something’s not right…” She took him immediately. He was breathing when I handed him over to her. She started working on him and telling the nurses to get a pulse oxygen level on him. 60.

“Silas?” My voice broke with the fear that was filling my heart. I began preparing myself for the inevitable ambulance ride to the hospital. I told the secretary to call Christopher and get him up there right away and I ran back to my baby.

{Six weeks ago} I went back into the room, and touched Silas’ hand, “Silas, Mommy’s here.” The nurse is firmly patting his foot trying to get a response. Pulse oxygen level: 40.

My heart is sinking. This is not the way it’s supposed to be going. I start to feel weak. I lean against the wall for support and rake my hands through my hair and pull, just to try to stay conscious. The nurses bring a rolling chair to me and say, “I know you don’t think you need to sit down, but you do.” I don’t know when the Lee’s Summit paramedics arrived, nor when the Children’s Mercy Transport team arrived. I am told the LS paramedics were there within a few minutes of calling. I had no idea they were being called, but I did realize Children’s was.

I remember seeing the stretcher in the hallway. I’m sitting in the chair on the opposite side of the hallway. I’m waiting to sprint to the ambulance with my baby, but they’re not bringing him out yet. I hear Lily and Milo giggling with a nurse in the examination room in which we had been before I took Silas to Dr. Peterson. I’m relieved they are ok, but I realize I need someone there to take care of my kids so I can leave with Silas.

I look at my phone and see my friend, Tori, had texted me asking how Sy’s reflux appointment went. I write back, “Pray. He’s unresponsive. Put in on FB.” I try calling my mom. Can’t get through because she’s in training and not in the building. I call my sister Brittany and tell her to get Mom here ASAP. Christopher arrives around this time.

Dr. Peterson has let the emergency teams take over. They keep bringing some kind of medicine to him in the room. I hear one man say, “Silas.” I say, “My baby. Why are they saying his name? Is he ok?” The nurse tells me they are trying to elicit a response from him and saying his name can help. I try talking to him also, even though I’m outside the door. I just want him to know I’m there, even though I won’t let myself get in the way of the paramedics.

My heart is filling with dread. I know it’s taking too long. The secretary reminds me to breathe. My heart is sinking. I am shaking. I start to feel like I am underwater. I tell them if I pass out to not worry about me, it happens, and I’ll be ok. Don’t take your attention from him. They bring warm blankets from the office next door.

I tell them I need an update. I need to know how my baby is. I will never forget the scribe, a very tall man in his late 40s/early 50s. He looks at me and unemotionally says, “His heart has stopped beating and he’s not breathing on his own.”

I literally feel like I am having Silas all over again. My body wrenches as it did when I was laboring six weeks and two days prior to this day. The emotional pain is excruciating and incomprehensible all at once. I wail, “My baby, my baby, my baby.” The nurse reminds me to breathe because my wailing for my baby continues until it seems as though every breath of oxygen has been squeezed from my body.

I breathe deeply, consciously, and say, “I will get it together. I have to be strong for him.” I look up and beg God, “Please.” My heart is pleading for his life. Even though I don’t believe we should bargain, I think of something I can give God in exchange for Silas’ life. I can’t offer something that I may not be able to follow through with perfectly because this is too utterly important. I know I will fail my promise to God at some point. I have nothing to offer Him that is equal to my baby’s life. I have absolutely nothing. I know He knows this. I just say, “Please.”

Dr. Peterson comes out and kneels in front of me as I am sitting in the chair. I see the redness from tears in her eyes. She tells me he’s too sick. They’ve been working on him for 45 minutes. My mind registers this information. I know it’s been too long. He won’t be ok. I think I said, “Noooo.” I tell them I need to see my baby.

I recklessly rush into the room. The staff follows me with a chair in which I sit as they hand me my baby. They try to wrap him in a blanket for me, but I tell them no. I need my baby so close to me. I am wailing. I bring his head up to my cheek. He feels so cold. When I pull him close, he makes a gurgling sound. “He made a noise,” I say. My mind tells me it’s just the air they were pushing into his lungs and he is not coming back to me. I sit there wailing, “My baby, my baby, my baby,” with only one tear running down my cheek.

{Four months ago} My sister has since told me I said, “My baby. Come back to me.” I vaguely remember saying that. In that room I am holding him close, still wishing for a miracle, begging him to come back to me, kissing his head, while rocking back and forth because the pain is so intense. It hurts so badly.

I kick the examination table in front of me. I am in agony. I am inconsolable. I am distraught. This is not the kind of mother I am. I am a mother who always tries to soothe her children with a calm and peaceful presence. I know I am not scaring my baby in my anguish, but I pray, “Lord, let me leave my baby in peace,” for peaceful love is the center of my relationship with my son, for it is how we began, and only fitting that it is how we should depart.

And God gave me the desire of my heart. In the following moments, my wails lessened, and I was given an understanding and a knowledge that my baby was not there anymore and that he was at peace. In that moment, heaven felt so very real, so very close, and so very attainable. I picture Christopher’s mother rushing to fold him in her arms. Then the tears began endlessly falling from my eyes.

I tell Christopher I want my sister to come into the room next for I think she can handle being with me because she works in labor and delivery and witnesses loss from time to time. I look up from my baby cradled in my arms, tears streaming down my face, and see her red, bloodshot eyes, and I say, “My baby, I just don’t understand.” It’s as if my eyes are asking her “Why?” She shakes her head, “I don’t know.”

I ask if she wants to hold him and she nods her head. After Brittany gives him her final snuggles, he is back in my arms, and I ask her if she will ask our mom to come in. I don’t know if my mother can bear to come in to see him like this. My mother comes in and hugs Silas and me as I cradle him in my arms. I can barely look at her because I know her eyes mirror the same hurt and questions in my own.

I ask if the paramedics can remove the intubation tube and the IV line so the kids can come see him, but they cannot remove them because we have requested an autopsy. Christopher brings in Lily and Milo. I want them to see him because I know death is a mystery, especially to children. I am sitting on the exam table holding him, and Christopher lifts Lily to sit next to me and Milo next to her.

We ask them if they want to hold him. I will never forget looking into my daughter’s red, teary eyes and seeing her chin quiver as she nods her head and holds out her arms. We tell them that his heart is not beating and he is not breathing anymore because he got so sick, but we are questioning…what happened to our baby??

When Lily shifts him in her arms, Milo says, “Look, he’s moving.” We explain that Silas didn’t move, but Lily’s movement made it look like he moved. My heart shatters as Milo reaches out to wiggle Silas’ ear and says, “Look, Mommy. He’s moving.” He so wants him to be alive.

Me, too.

Milo holds his brother for the last time. Then Christopher asks to hold him and say goodbye to him. I hand him over, knowing it is the final time I will see him. As I move toward the door, I turn back around and place his the fingers of his right hand over my finger, wishing he could grasp my finger, and I kiss his tiny hand.

In my reflections of these moments, I know that when my heart shattered that day, the Lord caught every piece, and I accepted the comfort He offered. It was during the time in which I held my baby boy that I first felt God’s spirit with me presently, even though I’ve believed in Him my whole life. Before losing Silas, I did not think I had enough faith to survive losing a child. In the truest place of my broken, vulnerable heart, I knew God was there.

I can still see all of this in my mind. For weeks, it was on a constant reel in my mind, an unrelenting nightmare, leaving me tormented. As time has passed, the memory is not as intrusive, and I don’t see the whole event, only little snapshots at a time.

It hasn’t been on the forefront of my mind as often. But, this last week has been so difficult. Sometimes it seems as if it had to have been a dream, but I know it’s not. I think, did that really happen? My broken heart and empty arms tell me the answer. I have been told this is common for those who have suffered sudden losses.

Now I am realizing there is more to the healing of the tragedy of losing my son…haunting me is the emotional trauma that day has caused. The trauma and shock of my sudden loss of Silas seem incomprehensible at times. When a memory flashes in my mind and brings me back to my last moments with Silas, I am trying to take the time to figure out the emotions that are rising to the surface. It is very difficult, for these memories will come at times during which I am unable to stop and reflect.

I’m starting to push them aside, but I don’t want to bury these feelings. My mind tells me I need to reflect and understand the depth of the emotions in order to fully heal. On the opposite side, I don’t want to circle the trauma of that day in a way that will not allow me to move forward, but I don’t think that is happening.

Since the emotional shock has been so staggering lately, I thought sharing our trauma might help with my healing journey. There will be more to share as I continue to analyze the layers of emotions of the first days of his absence. Our psyches really do go into crisis mode, and going into shock protected me during that time, for the entire trauma would’ve been too much to handle in those moments, but now, I need to understand these feelings.

Time is a strange thing…The time that lapses stretches the space between the last time I held him and the present. As my life has moved forward, the routine of caring for my baby has been replaced with our new routines. Because of the time that has passed since the change in our routine, I no longer expect that I should be taking care of his needs, but rather, I wish he were here so I could be taking care of his needs.

The memories of my days with him seem to be a bittersweet reverie. With the passing of time, the excruciating memories are not as prevalent, but rather tender memories of Silas and how much I devoted my time and heart to him are forefront in my mind and heart. Thoughts of how he inspires me in my life are leading me daily, amidst my sadness and sorrow. But, through the passing days I often think, “My baby…come back to me.”