4 years ago, on a day like this – 8th January 2015, we had just lost our 10 and a half month old son. As a family, we were moving up and down making plans and arrangements that we had never made before – reporting to the police, getting a burial permit, getting a permit to allow us to carry his little body from hospital to the mortuary, organizing for loving, comforting company for our 4 year old daughter…and a whirlwind of other activities.
Now, 4 years later, I hold another son in my arms. God blessed us last year with a wonderful baby boy. Yes, He does give beauty for ashes…and He who breaks us does heal us. What a journey this has been!
When we lost our son, we got lots of advice from some of the people who visited us. Some well-meaning friends suggested that I quickly get around to getting another baby, because that would help me heal faster. They said I would forget the pain because I’d have a new excitement to focus on, and I’d move on faster if I had another baby with me.
Well, I was very cautious. Nothing could ever replace Jason, nothing. So I wasn’t in a hurry to get another child, because I didn’t want it to be in an attempt to replace Jason. I also did not want to make a rash decision in the midst of such turmoil. I wanted things to settle down so that there’d be an atmosphere friendly enough to make a sober decision.
3 years later, in 2017, I conceived…and what a joy it was!! I couldn’t believe it. I was over the roof. But even then, I missed my son. As I journeyed in the pregnancy, I loved my new baby, but I also missed my angel baby.
At about the same time, God began opening doors for me to speak about having lost my son. I did this on TV and Radio, even as I wrote about it on social media and spoke in churches. Because of this reason, and especially in the media, I did not make public my expectant state. I dressed in clothes that concealed my pregnancy because I didn’t want viewers to feel that I was only encouraging others because I was already pregnant. I kept this journey as private as I could, and it was known only to those who physically interacted with me.
By God’s grace, I was able to put together the book Losing Jason: A Mother’s Journey After Loss. I understand that it has been of great help to many, and for this, I thank God. I thank God that the opportunities that I have had to speak to others have also been of comfort and help to them. And I thank God that He has chosen to bless our family in this way.
Do I still miss my son, Jason? Yes I do. Everyday. Do I still cry for him? Yes, I do, sometimes even as I am holding my new son. Did the excitement of pregnancy and new birth erase the memories and the pain that I had when I lost Jason? Certainly not. But it sure is a wonderful thing to have my arms full again, and not empty. It is wonderful to see how God has blessed us with another little boy – the joy is indescribable.
But does that mean that I am now healed? I wouldn’t say so. I say that because I know some might think that the path to healing is to get another child, yet it is not – and it may not happen for everyone. The new child is not and can never be a replacement for the one who died. And healing is a journey, and it takes time, and it happens in various ways. Before, for example, every reminder of him would make me cry. Some things now don’t make me cry. Others make me smile. Some make me bawl. But it’s progress, a little every day, and I’m able to make decisions about things in a better way.
I wrote in my book that I hadn’t yet gotten the strength to put a permanent slab on his grave. That’s still the case. I felt that it would be a seal, a permanent statement, a firm kind of closure and that we’d be leaving that ‘phase’ in the past. Well, my son is not in my past, per se. And I’m not ready to ‘seal that off’ and ‘let it rest’ so to speak. So maybe later, I’ll be able to do that. In the meantime, flowers will do.