Someone asked on the facebook heart board if they associated any songs with their heart journey. I have a couple. I will probably always associate Sarah Mclachlan’s Christmas music. But the one that will always remind me is Gone by Phillip Phillips. I remember before surgery dancing in the kitchen with my kids to a few songs, and Gone came on. Ruby was probably 4 months old. I was holding her as she grinned as big as she could, kicking her legs bouncing while I danced around with her. My kids were all in the kitchen with me, doing their awesome dance moves and we were all laughing. The words to the song struck me as we danced:
Your hope dangling by a string I’ll share in your suffering to make you well, to make you well….So I would do it for you, for you. Baby I’m not moving on, I love you long after you’re gone. For you, for you. You will never sleep alone. I love you long after you’re gone. And long after you’re gone, gone, gone… You’re my rugged heart… You’re the pulse that I’ve always needed. Like a drum, baby don’t stop beating.
Soon I was crying. Dancing and having fun with my kids. But also holding and hugging Ruby so tightly, praying to please oh please oh please don’t let her die, Heavenly Father. How on earth would I be able to go on without her? Without any of my kids? I often talk about these thoughts I’ve had about Ruby. That’s because it was or is the most real with her. But as any mother knows, the thought of losing any of your children is more than you can bear to even imagine. And so often people don’t even have warning and it just happens.
One sweet mom I met will always hold a special place in my heart. Her son died at 6 months old–he would have turned one this month. Last month she was doing something awesome and making “parent survival kits” for those with a child staying at PCH in the cardiac intensive care unit. So sweet and so thoughtful. Our personal progress leader decided to do her activity for the month to help her and collect items to donate. There were a few people in the ward who donated. We had a pretty good haul!
I drove to meet this momma to give her the things the ward collected. I had my four kids with me. Four huge blessings with me. I have four kids. How blessed am I? We were meeting at the mall parking lot. I briefly told the kids her situation so they were aware of what we were doing, and how this girl was making the most of her trial. We had to drive 40 minutes and were listening to music on the road. The song Gone came on and I bawled the majority of the drive there. All I wanted to do was get there, run to this girl who lost her baby, and hug her as tight as I could telling her I was so so sorry she lost her baby. This momma who posts on facebook and talks about how it’s getting harder. This mom who posts how rather than planning his first party, they were placing the headstone and she will be visiting his grave.
But I didn’t. I should have.
We got there and said hello. We talked about her baby boy and she was choking up the whole time. She had a need–a very very real need to talk about her baby. To be heard. For people to care. She asked how Ruby was. She told me how sudden the news was that her baby wouldn’t make it. How well he was doing and then they knew he was going to die and only had four days left. How people couldn’t believe anything was wrong with him because he looked so healthy (it was mainly his SVT –he had a few defects but that one was what the big problem was and the surgery they tried to fix it was too hard on him). She told me she couldn’t wait for the Second Coming so she could have her baby again. Heart-wrenching, right? But she was so thankful she had the gospel. To know that she would get to have him in her arms again. We hugged and said goodbye after we unloaded everything. I told her she was amazing but there were so many words unsaid. I should have just hugged her and said I was sorry and that I will never forget her baby.
I read online a comment from another mom who lost their baby. She said, “I would give anything–ANYTHING, to be able to hold my baby again for just five minutes.”
There are three other stories I follow about child loss. Their kids were older, but still little–6, 7, and 4. Dillon doesn’t know why I follow the stories, because they make me so sad. He says, “I don’t know how you can read those.” To him it’s just too hard to think about. And it is! But I’m not the one who has to. I just want to love and support those who do have to. And remember to not take my kids for granted.
One of those blogs talks about how she needs people to remember her girl. How if you send a note one year at the time she died, how you better send one every year. She said she just can’t bear the thought of people forgetting and she hoped people would listen to her talk about her daughter over and over for years and years–the same stories because they only had 6 years with her.
I am doing a lot better since the last post, thankfully. I might not sound like it but I am:). What is the point of having my children surviving and me not living life with them? I still slip into those dark thoughts. I have to be really careful with social media. Sometimes I get sucked into it, reaching to make connections with people who understand and who can relate to the fact that the fear never leaves. I will not forget those people who have such hard trials in there life–the trial of losing a child. I don’t want to forget. I want to be there for them, mourn with them. Do whatever I can to help them. They are my heroes. But sometimes I have to pull away. Which makes me feel sad because they can’t. Thank heavens most of the people I know who are dealing with the loss of their child have the gospel, or believe in God and a life after here. How do people cope without this knowledge?
Anyways, that’s a heck of a lot of blabbing on, but I just had to get those thoughts out. Just a couple more surgery posts to write and wow, Ruby is 10 months old already. I just need to start blogging again for real. So I don’t forget these precious days with my kids. I know we’re enjoying life and each other, but I just have this need to document things because I don’t want to forget the little moments either.
Originally posted on family blog April 16, 2014.