My brother's baby boy passed away on July 3rd 1989, my 15th birthday. He, Christoper, was stillborn and he was so beautiful... I held him as my brother sang Happy Birthday to me in the hospital... life changing moment for any 15 year old. My heart was broken for my brother and his family. And I was so young, I had no idea the grief they were in store for. For those of you who have read my book, I write about this on page 60. Life changing on so many levels...
My son passed away the day before my 31st birthday, July 2nd, 2005.
My parents have had to bury 2 of their grandsons... our family has kissed 2 beautiful boys goodbye... We have our boys buried by each other, just about 20 feet or so apart.
My brother, Chuck's son, Christopher, will be 23 this coming July, Matthew will be 7.
It is heartbreaking to remember the day we were there supporting my brother and his family on that hot day when the dirt was fresh, and the tears and unexplained shock we all felt was so present. And then just 16 years later, we would all be back at that very place, putting my baby boy to rest... in that same shock, under the same July sun...
Grasp that for a moment... 2 babies, beautiful perfect boys, leaving this world all too soon, and leaving our family devastated not once, but twice.
It is very sobering to go to the cemetery and let the memories come back... and it makes me so sad... sad for my brother and his family and sad for our family... for our whole family. When we are all there together on certain occasions, the love, the sadness and the pain that can pull families apart, make us cling to each other more.
We lean on each other, hug each other, and without saying a word, we all know there is nothing that any of us have to face alone. When one of us suffers, we all hurt... together.
When we rejoice, we all rejoice together.
Family... I love my (our) family. And all of the bad stuff we have been through has rooted us further in faith and love with God and with each other. You can build upon it or take away from it. We choose to build. Together.
Just a week or so ago, my brother went to the cemetery and this was his Facebook post for the day:
Of course when I read this post, I sobbed... I miss being Christopher's Aunt here on earth, but am so glad Matthew has a cousin in heaven with him. I often too think about how my brother would have grasped 4 teenage boys... 4 driver's license'.... (big smile) and then I think the same way I would have handled all 3 of my boys here with us! GRATEFULLY AND HAPPILY AND LOVINGLY!
July is a tough month for us... and it has been since my 15th birthday... I am pretty sure that it will always be tough... but we get through it, together.
August always comes.
If you have a family member who has suffered loss, let them know if they want to talk about it, you want to listen. Please don't act like it never happened, because I promise you in their heart "it" will never go away.
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