I have so much to write about. I want to write about Gabriel’s birth day. I want to write about his burial. I want to write about his celebration. I want to write about how I feel. I want to write. And I don’t want to write.
I think one of the things that’s surprised me most about this mourning and grief thing is the simultaneous conflicting emotions. I want to write/ I don’t want to write. I’m ok/ I’m not ok. It’s only been 2 weeks/ It feels like it’s been forever. I’m thankful Gabriel was born alive/ It wasn’t enough time with him. I’m so thankful he isn’t suffering here/ I’d take care of a special needs baby and I want him here with me now. I am thankful he’s with Jesus/ I’d be a really good mom to him here. Life goes on/ How does life go on.
People keep asking how we’re doing. What we say is that we’re ok. We’re not good, we’re not bad. We’re still here and we’re ok. I think the #1 question we were asked at the celebration was how Jack is doing and does he understand. So since so many people have asked, I thought I’d post that answer here since I’m sure more people are wondering.
Jack is awesome. He’s never ever been so happy as he has the past 2 weeks. Ever. He is a happy kid and he always has been. But he has laughed so purely, so joyfully, so loudly, SO MUCH since Gabriel was born. He’s been pretty easy on us — active as usual — but pretty easy. And he has just been so full of life and so joyful. He loves his family and has enjoyed all of the time with them and all of the attention he has been getting. We recognize that this is all a gift. That his loving heart and cheerful personality are a gift to us, a gift to help us through this time. We are so thankful for him. We are thankful that our house is noisy. We are thankful we trip over toys. We are thankful for the little voice that says the same word one hundred times, until you acknowledge it, and then after you acknowledge it, he says it fifty times more. He’s the best. But it doesn’t make losing Gabriel any easier. It helps in many ways, and he keeps our hearts full, but it doesn’t take anything away. There’s a misconception that because you have another child or children, that it’s easier to lose one. Anyone who has lost a child will tell you that’s not true. Even if we have 10 children, our hearts will always ache for Gabriel. Tommy said the other day that in 20 years we will take a family picture and no matter what our family looks like at that time, we will see a hole in the picture where Gabriel should be. Every time I think about that, I can’t help but cry. He’s so right.
I don’t want to take anything away from Jack. He is the most joyful kid in the world. And he is propelling us through these days. He makes us get out of bed in the morning. He makes us laugh all the time. He is proof that there is hope. But we’re parents of 2 children now, not just one. So we think about both of our children, just like any parents would. And just because most people only see one of our boys, doesn’t mean anything less for our second boy.
In terms of Jack’s understanding of everything, I think he gets it. A lot. I honestly believe that he has a deep understanding that is beyond what we can understand. I believe that he knows we need him to smile and laugh. I believe that he knows he’ll see his brother again one day. I believe he understands that Gabriel was sick and is now with Jesus. Does he understand everything like we do? No, of course not. But I think he understands things in ways we cannot. I think he has an innocence that us adults have long lost. And when I tell him that “Mommy’s sad because baby Gabriel isn’t here with us anymore” and he says “Ok” and then gets back to playing, I think he knows what I’m saying and his response is just perfect.
We are having a lot of fun with our little guy here. And we are doing ok.