This posting is a writing from me (a grieving dad) and not from one of the grieving dads that reach out to me. I wrote this one for me and my son Noah. I released a lot of tears writing this brief posting; mainly from the reality that sits in from time to time. I hope it sheds some light on some of the things that bereaved parents go through after the loss of a child.
The four-year anniversary of the death of my sweet baby boy Noah is tomorrow. I really don’t know how to handle the day. He officially died on June 7th and was born on June 8th. We try to make it a special day for baby Noah with a balloon release and a birthday cake. I know it’s kind of fucked up, trying to do “normal” things on a day that isn’t normal. I really don’t know what else to do. I just want him to know that I miss him dearly and that I haven’t forgotten about him, so we sing him Happy Birthday and blow out the candles in hopes that he is watching and understands how much we love him and miss him.
Although he wasn’t alive when he was born, the time I spent with him was awesome. He was so tiny he didn’t even fit into the preemie outfit we had bought him in anticipation of this death. We spent 6 hours with him before the nurse had taken him away. Those 6 hours were the worst and best time of my life. I knew he wouldn’t be coming home with me, like most parents are fortunate enough to experience, but that didn’t stop me from being a proud father. He was so beautiful.
We are fortunate enough to have his hand prints, photos, his outfit and the blanket the nurses had wrapped him in, but it will never be enough. The hole in my heart will not be filled until I am holding him and my daughter Katie in my arms again.
It took me a couple of years to be able to function in somewhat of a normal way again. The grief and sadness of losing Katie and Noah has taken a major toll on me mentally.
The next couple of days will come and go and most of our family (and certainly friends) won’t remember to call or check in with us. There will be excuses like “I didn’t want to remind you or bring you down”. What they are really saying is “I forgot” or “I didn’t have the courage to actually have a heart to heart conversation with you about the death of your child”. Most people don’t like the felling of being “uncomfortable”. However, the parents that have lost a child must live with that “uncomfortable” feeling every day. It’s a reality in which we live.
If it weren’t for some dear friends that have also experienced a loss of a child, we wouldn’t hear from anyone on Noah’s birthday. The cards and gifts that we receive from these friends are truly heartfelt because they understand what its like to be alone in your thoughts on these difficult days.
In closing I want to wish by beautiful son Noah, Happy Birthday! You will always be with me and I will always miss you. I look forward to the day that I will get to hold you in my arms again. Please know and remember that your daddy loves you so very deeply.