I Can Still Praise

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Shared by: Your Son’s MotherSee More


Dear Cae’s Daddy,

International Bereaved Father’s Day, wow, just wow. Twelve years ago neither one of us would have ever imagined that such a day could exist. In fact as naïve as it sounds, I am not sure that either one of us ever imagined that babies died. Not that we lacked the intelligence to know it was untrue, but such things happened to others, to those making poor choices, to …those without proper medical care, certainly such a horrific thing could never happen to us. And then, in an instant everything we ever thought we knew about life, death, love, and longing changed forever.

Do you remember that day? That weekend? That moment when everything changed? We had we just moved into our new home and had spent the entire weekend dreaming of how we were to decorate the nursery. We had learned just weeks before that the child I carried was a son, and we were eager to see him once again as we made our way to the doctor’s office the following Monday morning. The tech helped me onto the table as I answered her questions, yes I felt him often I assured her with a smile as I exposed my already round belly. You took my hand as she spread the icy cold goo and we all turned our attention to the small, still screen. After several minutes of silence you ask what would be the first of many questions. “Doesn’t the heartbeat flicker?” The nurse moved the wand upward placing it on my own chest, “Yes, the heartbeat does flicker. Do you see that? Do you see your wife’s heartbeat there?” We both silently shook our heads as she moved the wand back to my belly and continued, “See this? This is your baby. This is your baby’s heart. No flicker. I am sorry…the doctor is on his way…I really have no answers for you…I am so, so, sorry…” She continued on and on and as promised, we were meet by doctors, and nurses, and counselors but I didn’t hear anything that they said. Did you?

Later the same evening we arrived at the hospital. The lady at the check in desk smiled and ask if I was in labor. No, I answered, I was here for an induction. “Oh you must be so excited to meet your new little one! Do you know if it is a boy or a girl?” And that is when, for the first time I would have to allow myself to speak the words that would become our reality, “He is a boy, he is a dead little boy. He died inside me. I am having a dead baby boy.”
I must admit that I remember very little of the next three days as we waited for the arrival of the child that had already left our world for the next. This was the only thing that brought me any comfort and yet you were so angry with God that you did not want me or anyone else to speak His name. I do remember demanding another ultrasound just to ensure that my faith alone was not enough to have made what we had been told to be untrue. I know you must have gotten tired of me pleading with God as I struggled to accept what you could not. I knew even then that it was too much for you. I knew that your heart was broken and that what little faith you had carried was now gone.
While I was confined to the bed you spent countless hours wondering the halls, running out side for “fresh air”, or maybe you were just trying to hide how much you too were hurting. In case I have never told, I forgive you for not being there with me the moment in which our son slipped into this world. I say slipped because it was nothing at all like my fist full term delivery in which I had felt wave after wave of intense pain and then had to push with all my might, no, this was not at all like that. One minute our sweet little baby boy was within me and the next he was there before me. I had delivered his still, quite body all alone in that still, quite room.

I am not sure how much time had passed since the moment of his arrival and when you walked in and found us there. I remember the room was no longer still nor quite. As the doctors and nurses stirred about us, we were finally introduced to our son. He was so perfect. Together we counted his ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. The skin on his upper lip and just below his teeny nose was wrinkled and pruney as was his thumb. We were told this was because he had sucked his thumb in the womb. All of your strong, dominant features were there and everyone remarked at how much he looked like you. After covering his body in tears and kisses, we wrapped him in a blanket and took turns passing his tiny, lifeless, body between us. Both of our parents came to say their goodbyes yet you and I both selfishly clung to our son. Did you think it was as special as I did that it was only our embrace that he knew?

The days, the weeks, and the months that followed are much of a blur to me. I am sorry if I never thanked you for taking care of all of the arrangements for me. I am also not sure if I ever told you how sorry I was that I was too ill to attend the service with you. I can only imagine how awful it must have been to bury our child alone. I promise it was equally as difficult to know such was happening without me. I will always be grateful that your parents were there for you when I could not be.

In the weeks that followed parents returned home, our first child was entertained by my parents, friends and family who did not know what to say neglected to call or visit, new neighbors kept their distance, you returned to work, and I was all alone in our lovely new home. All I could think about, all I could talk about, all that consumed my very existence was my desire for the child I lost. I apologize as I know realize this was the last thing you wanted to hear.

Your inability to discuss our son, the son which meant every bit as much to me as our other children, is a big part of what I believe finally pushed us apart. As the years passed I submerged myself in my faith, in it I found the peace and assurance that someday I would reunite with our son in heaven. You however allowed yourself to become more and more bitter with God claiming that you could never understand a God that would take our child from us. I prayed you would one day see things as I saw them but instead, you decided to turn your anger on me.
I am so sorry that I could not help you grieve. I am so sorry that you could not express your pain and your confusion. I am sorry that your anger escalated to violence and fearing for my safety and the safety of our other children, I fled. My sister said you told her that you knew I was gone and that I had no plans to return because I had cleared all of our son’s things for his shadow box and his memory box and teddy bear were missing along with me and the other children. You never tried to make it right. You never admitted you had a problem or that you needed help. You know I would have helped you. You knew I loved you more than you ever allowed me to show you.

So, twelve years ago we would have never known of Bereaved Father’s Day, we would have never known of being bereaved. We would have never known the pain of losing not only our son, but each other. Both loses have taught me so many things. They have taught me to embrace every moment both good and bad, to treasure every soul that dances into and out of your life, no matter how brief the visit. These losses have also taught me to believe, to hope, and to trust in something bigger than myself.

Yes, that is right, I am still a faithful servant to a God that I myself will admit to not understanding. Because of you I had to put all the more faith in the One who promised to “work all things for my good”, the One who’s “ways are above my ways and thoughts are above my thoughts”. The One who promises that His plans “are for good and not for evil”, the One who promises me a “future full of hope”. And above all, the One who has shown me that all though our son will never return to us here in this life, we can “go to him” when our time here is through.

I received a vision some time ago in which you, I, and our son were together once again. We were all hand in hand, him in between us. I believe this vision was our son’s way of reminding me to pray for you each and every day, to thank you for giving him life, however short, as his life was for a purpose. I have found that purpose in all that I do. I have answered a call to minster to other families is their own times of loss. Again I have to thank you, much of what I have learned in our parting has taught me to feel as others feel, as I imagine you must have felt. I say felt again because of faith. I believe what I saw in that vision to be truth. I believe that one day you and I and our son will be together in the ever after. I do not know how, I do not know when, or who may lead you there, but I know it will be so.

So, until such a time as we are all together once more, Happy Bereaved Father’s Day. For everything you have given me in your presence, in your absence, and in the hope of what is to come, I thank you.

Until together forever,
Your Son’s MotherSee More

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