Child Loss, Family, Journaling, Parenting

Dear Joey (letter #2)

Dear Joey,

This time of year is always so hard for me. Tomorrow is the 6 year anniversary of the day I first felt I was starting to lose you. Although for months we knew the struggles you were facing, we were not yet prepared for what was coming. We thought we would have more time to prepare for your arival, and knowing that you were coming into this world sooner rather than later… well that just shook me to my core.

These days I find myself talking about you all the time to your brother. I know you hear us, and watch over us, but I need to tell you how our conversations make me feel. Even though he was born right after you and has no memories of your death, he still feels it. He feels the missing piece of the brother that should be starting first grade with him this week. He knows there is a part of him missing. We all feel it. He feels the guilt over being the one that got to live.

The first time he told me he wanted to die, I felt my heart stop in my chest. Tears threatened to fall as I tried to choke out a calm response in order to get clarification on this declaration of his. He proceeded to tell me that he didn’t want to be a part of this world any more, and that he just wanted to die. And then he started crying, which caused the tears I was trying to hold back errupt so forcefully, that we both just sat together crying for a while. Once I could calm down, I managed to ask him why he felt this way. Jack responded by saying he just wanted to see his brother again, and wanted to go to heaven so that he could be with you forever. It was both the sweetest and saddest moment I can remember. Since that day, he has had many similar conversations with me. We talk about you all the time, and I constantly have to remind him how much he is needed here down on earth. If you ever get a moment to send him a reminder of that too, I would appreciate it buddy.

As much as we all love you and miss you and want to see you again, I know we have a bigger purpose here on earth right now. I know that you were given to me for a reason, and I was meant to be your Mommy. I was meant to love you so deeply, and so fiercely, so that I could learn to grow into a better person. I was meant to carry you into this world, so that your life could have a rippling impact on so many peoples lives. You have touched the hearts of so many people, all over the world. And because of you, I now know the meaning of true grief and loss, and love. And how through tremendous loss can come beauty and joy. Because of you, I have met amazing women who also have babies in heaven. Because of you, I have given others hope that they will survive the loss of their child. Because of you, I have a deeper compassion for others who experience trauma and grief. Because of you, I hold my babies closer.

Tomorrow, and the next few weeks are going to be so hard for me buddy. The closer we get to your birthday, the closer all of those feelings I had on the day we lost you come back to the surface. I know I will still have moments of Joy, and we will celebrate your life like you deserve, but I will still have times where I will cry my eyes out. My heart aches every day for you my sweet boy. But until we can be together again, I will keep your memory alive, your name on my lips, and so much love in my heart.

I love you Joey.

Love,

Mommy

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