This is different

If I died tomorrow, it would be sad.  My parents would mourn for me because they expected to outlive their children.  My husband would be left alone and it would be too much tragedy for one lifetime.  My friends would begin to fear their own mortality.  It would be sad.  That is for sure.  But, I have lived a very full life.  I had a wonderful childhood.  I grew up with loving parents and beloved brother.  I played sports.  I went to summer camp.  I was passionate about many things.  I had the opportunity to study in terrific schools.  I traveled all over the world.  I have made friends all over the world.  I have fallen in love.  I have fallen out of love.  I have broken hearts.  I have had my heart broken.  I have eaten cuisine from all four corners.  I have involved myself in the world around me.  I have retreated from the world around me.  I found the love of my life.  I had a beautiful baby, whom I loved more than life itself.  I have grieved his loss with every fiber of my being.  I don't know what the meaning or purpose of life is....but, I have lived.  I have lived every minute of this life that I have been given and for the most part, it was a really wonderful life.

Maxie had nine and a half months.  That was it.  Can you imagine what it feels like to have lived like I have lived and to have seen my child's life cut short?  The very few things that he experienced in this life were hardly even mentioned in my list above.  He never spoke.  He never crawled or walked.  He never ....gosh, he never got to do anything.  He didn't get to live a life.  And, that is it.  I waited my whole life for him to get here and he is already gone.  This is a different kind of loss.  If I died tomorrow, the loss would be for the people around me.  They would miss me and feel my absence.  Maxie's death isn't just our loss, it is his.  Sure, there are still things left for me to do...there will always be things left that I would like to do...but, I have done a lot.  I have done more than many do in a lifetime.  He lost the opportunity to have all of the experiences that we have all had (and your experiences are probably different than mine.....but you have LIVED.)  When anyone goes, they go too soon....and I don't care if they are 99 years old.  For the people that love them, it is too soon.  But when a child dies?   When a baby dies?  I am sorry.  It is different.  I am not only mourning the rest of my life without Max, I am mourning the life he doesn't get to live.  And, I truly believe that Ted and I would have given him a beautiful life.  He would have had a BEAUTIFUL life and that is what I mourn each and every minute of every day.


Tamar said...

You are right, this is different. I think about the impact that losing Max has on you and Ted every day, and I also think that it's beyond unfair that this little boy is missing out on everything life has to offer. He's missing out on all the things that people take for granted, and all of us are missing out on watching him grow up and develop. I am so sorry he's not here. He deserved a full, happy life.

Jessica said...

You and Ted did give him a beautiful life in the short time that he was with you. Maxie was loved, cherished and adored and so, so lucky to have you guys as his parents. There is no question that you would have given him an amazing and beautiful life had he not been taken from you so tragically. There are so many heartbreaking levels to your loss and I think about Maxie and you every single day. I am so sorry that Maxie is not here with you and my heart breaks at how devastating his loss is. And I also mourn the life that Maxie will not get to experience. I am so sorry that sweet, wonderful, happy Max does not get to do all of the wonderful things that you imagined for him. You are right, it is different. And it is horrible. I am so, so sorry. For you, for Ted and for Maxie. I love you all very much.

Rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

I think about these things, too. Toby had 7 weeks. He never got to play with a toy, walk, or even sit up. He never got to experience anything other than formula. He never got to play with his brother. He did get to laugh one time. He laughed the day before he died. Or the day he died. We don't have a time of death so we don't know if it happened at night or early in the morning. These things make me incredibly sad.