Grief

Holding my son

Children finally to bed.

Orders to fill.

Emails to answer.

Dishes to wash.

Laundry to fold.

And still I sit and linger over my baby sleeping in my arms. I stroke his cheek, tickle his toes, hold his hand and kiss his forehead.

He turns one today.

He turns one and I don’t know quite what to feel.

A year ago, there was so much joy welcoming a new member to our family. And I still remember Tiggy walking into the hospital room to meet his baby brother for the first time. He was more interested in the snacks.

A year ago, there was so much fear as hour after hour passed and Micah was struggling to breathe. Late in the evening, he was finally moved to the NICU, to an incubator and poked full of lines and monitors and rather than the gurgly sound of struggled breathing, I sat up listening to beep after beep after beep. And I needed help to navigate all the wires just to hold him.

But now I hold him in my arms and he rests so peacefully. His breathing is slow and rhythmic. He is one year old today, and I hold his sleeping body and just watch him. Study him. Memorize him.

I watch him sleep like I did all my other children except him. For ten and a half months, I’ve laid him down to sleep and turned away. I couldn’t bear to look upon his features relaxed in sleep.

Because that night, ten and a half months ago, I saw another son lying on his death bed. Held him in my arms. Studied his features looking for him in the shadow of death. But with the life gone from his body, he no longer looked like himself. He could have been another child.

He could have been Micah. For when Micah’s features relaxed in sleep, he looked identical to his brother in death.

And I couldn’t bear to look.

But at one, his features have begun to change. And I can again watch him sleep.

So I sit, holding my infant son, trying to make up for almost a year of looking away and just watch him sleep.

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0 thoughts on “Holding my son

  1. {{{Dana}}} It’s been a year of healing and growing and learning new things. May you truly be able to enjoy the celebration of Micah’s birthday!

    Blessings,
    Tammy ~@~

  2. Hugs, Dana. I think of you daily and the struggles you have had to endure. Sending you continued prayers for strength and peace.

    Celebrate and enjoy your day with you baby. It is so wonderful that you can now hold Micha and “see” him.

    Peace,
    Michelle

  3. I’ve been following you on facebook and missed some posts over here. This post really took my breath away. ((HUGS))

    Dana, your family is always on my mind. When my almost 3 year old and my one year old fight, play, chase each other… I think of Tiggy and Micah and what they have missed.

    But as All Saint’s Day comes tomorrow, I want to remember that Tiggy is cheering you on, watching you love Micah, being a great mom.
    Praying for you all, always, especially Bear!

  4. I just cannot begin to imagine the path you have walked this year. It makes me weep. I know we don’t know each other, but believe this: I care so very deeply about your heart because, In Him, we are family. I know, when nothing else makes sense, that He is Love and that He will continue to bring healing and Peace to your heart. It will never be without this pain of loss, but the fruit He will bear through it all will bring Him great glory. I am so very, very sorry. I can’t stop crying, just wanting you to know how very much you are loved by many and how we are holding up your arms as the battle rages. May every step be filled with the Joy of His Presence, even through that valley. Even through the darkest darkness. He is so very Faithful.

  5. Thank you, everyone.

    And Micah had a great birthday. I tried to share a picture to Facebook with my husband’s phone from the restaurant, but I think that is all beyond my technological expertise.

    But he ate his first ice cream cone today. He liked it.

  6. He is beautiful Dana. He does look a lot like Tiggy’s photo on the Tiny Hands icon. They are both beautiful. Praise the Father for his healing of your heart. May it continue and be blessed, all of you!
    with much love~

  7. i am so thankful that you can once again look and stare and take him all in while he sleeps! i cry for the months of having to look away.

    one of my nephews was born this past may… even now, i can see a strong resemblance to christian, right down to the blue vein that runs across the bridge of his nose. but right now it is a “safe” resemblance as he reminds me of christian as a baby. i have no idea how i will feel if the resemblance continues into the toddler years. it is bittersweet.

    happy first birthday, micah!!!

  8. (Hug). Happy hugs for Micah, his birthday celebration and his first ice cream cone. Also for the angel walking by your side with Jesus’ arms around him.

  9. Second time I’ve read this post…
    Thankful for this…but it also hits that deep-heart-ache place.
    I’ve been thinking about you (and will pray).
    I’m thankful that you can enjoy and savor this sweet gift.
    But–I also know you’re coming up on December.
    Praying for you even as I write that.
    love,
    K

  10. Thank you, everyone.

    Marsha, Micah reminds me a lot of Mattias in his looks and his behavior. And it is bittersweet. 🙁

    Kara, sometimes it seems like December is coming like a freight train. Large and slow and unstoppable.

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