I miss him. As Gabriel’s first birthday approaches. As new life is all around. As our most joyous month is just over a week away. As I plan Jack’s 3rd birthday party and realize I will never get that for my second born. All of these are just little things that are part of life and make me miss him so much. Last night I sat. I just sat and listened to this song, after reading my friend’s blog about how that song made her feel about her baby in Heaven. And as I listened to it and imagined what it must be like for Gabriel in Heaven — which I can’t even imagine — but knowing that he is there, I felt so far away from him. Some times it does feel like we are only separated for a brief moment. Our lives here are short in the grand scheme of things and having the hope of knowing that we will see him again one day is an amazing comfort. And sometimes it feels as if we are only briefly separated.
But some days, like today, it seems so far away. And I feel so far away from my baby. How I’ll never know so many things about him. I don’t get to watch his personality develop or see if he is like Jack or so very different. I won’t have the opportunity to worry about him — in good and bad ways because that’s what moms do. I won’t know if he would have been a good or bad eater. A good sleeper or up all night. Many of the things moms complain about, I would happily take if it meant time with my son. I wonder if his very dark brown, very curly newborn hair would have fallen out. Would his hair be curly at one year?
If life went how I planned it, I would have two boys sleeping upstairs in side by side rooms. I would walk upstairs each night and look in one room, cover Jack back up and kiss his squishy cheeks, then quietly close the door and go to Gabriel’s room. I would pull the blanket back over him, scoot his pacis back beside him so he could reach them if he needed them, lean far down over that crib rail and kiss his squishy cheeks, then quietly close the door behind me. I would walk back downstairs to our room and lay down knowing I had a perfect life and a perfect family of 4.
But my nights don’t look like that, my life doesn’t look like that, and I don’t have 2 boys sleeping upstairs. We have the side by side rooms, but one of them is empty.
I walk upstairs each night and see the empty room at the top of the stairs that is Gabriel’s room. I walk past it to go check on Jack every night. And as I quietly close Jack’s door, I walk back past G’s empty room. Sometimes I stop in the doorway and just look. Occasionally I will imagine what life would be like with G in that room. But most of the time I just accept it for how it is because all I’ve ever known is that room being empty.
If my plans had worked out, I would have boys about to turn 3 and 1 next month. I would have a big boy running, wild, always playing with cars, trucks, and tractors, and I would have a no-longer baby toddling around right after him, I imagine.
My house feels empty, my arms feel empty, and my heart feels heavy. Sometimes the pain of loss is so great that it physically hurts. I know I am being healed, I know God is completing a work in me, and I know He is going to take these ashes that are my life and make them beautiful, but I am still broken. I still have a broken heart. And I miss my son.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!