Kane, I can’t believe we made it five years. This year you would’ve gone to kindergarten. I will always wonder who you would’ve looked like, if you still had curly red hair. I wonder what your personality would’ve been like. I wish I could hear you belly laugh. So many “I wonders,” “what ifs,” and wishes that will never be more than that. I miss you every day, my sweet boy.
Surviving child loss was the bravest thing I’ve ever had to do. Choosing to move forward isn’t easy. Choosing to show up every day even when all of the bad thoughts flood your mind, that is brave. I wish I could go back five years and tell myself that the pain will lessen. It’s raw and messy at first, but it will eventually become bearable. I wished I could’ve told myself to take all the time I needed to grieve. I felt like I was forced to feel better and move on. I felt like my grieving process was a burden. I should’ve grieved however I needed with zero apologies. I should’ve been more kind to myself during the grieving process. I wish I could’ve stood up for myself and said no to things I didn’t appreciate, and that hurt me more than helped me. I wish I could’ve told myself what life looks like right now, that I will eventually escape the all consuming darkness.
I remember not knowing how I would survive the first year, first month, or the first week after losing my son. It started off as such a dark time. I felt stuck in the deepest, darkest hole that I couldn’t climb out. My grief was consuming, and I couldn’t control it. My heartfelt physically broken. Five years ago my world stopped, but everything else was moving forward…as the weeks, months, and years go on, people forget about the tragedy that rocked me to my core. One of the scariest and worst feelings with child loss is feeling like everyone forgot about them. Even now I struggle with these thoughts. Many days I’m just going through the motions, simply surviving. Five years down, a lifetime to go without you.
Give the gift of remembrance to future bereaved families.