Tonight I held my nephew Jack for the first time ever. This is only the second time I have seen him in person since he was born. He is four months old and he and Lucy were supposed to be the closest cousins. She would be almost the same size as he is now. He has big chubby cheeks just like I thought Lucy would have, just like she had in my one dream of her. I have purposefully had to keep my distance from baby Jack since he was born because even thinking about him brings me to tears. The first time I saw him I looked at him for about 5 seconds and then ran crying out of the house. It breaks my heart that I associate him with Lucy, which means I associate him with Lucy’s death. I have four nieces and Jack is my first nephew, so I was so excited about being his Auntie. It has been heartbreaking to stay away from him, but I know it would be even more devastating to be around him. The night after I saw him for the first time I honestly felt like I wanted to die because I missed Lucy so much and I felt like I couldn’t live one more second without her in my arms. I realized I had to set up some boundaries to stay emotionally healthy for my family. My boys can’t have a Mama who wishes she was dead. I cry all the time when I think about Jack because I feel like I’ve lost Lucy and Jack. Lucy’s death was like a rock being thrown into a placid pond and the ripples of destruction have spread out further and further and they seem to touch everything in my life.
Today my brother came and brought his three kids to my Mom’s house. I wanted to go over and hang out, but I knew baby Jack was there, so Josh just took the boys over to play with their cousins and I stayed home. I felt defeated and sad because I hate having to stay away. I wish I could control my emotional reaction, but it’s truly out of my control. Grief has it’s own timetable and I just have to go with it. By evening I had such a strong feeling that I wanted to see Jack and I wanted to hold him. I have thought about holding Jack many times in the past and I weep every time. I started crying just thinking about it, but I got in the car and drove over to my Mom’s to hold my little Jack. Holding him felt amazing and I just cried and cried. He is so cute and he came right to me and smiled at me. It was also so hard because I could just imagine it was Lucy I was holding. That’s how she would feel right now in my arms. How I have dreamed and dreamed about holding her; feeling the weight of her, the warmth of her on my chest. It was a huge accomplishment, though. A huge step in my healing process. Sometimes I feel frustrated with myself because I am still so devastated 7 months later, but while I was holding Jack I was reminded that Lucy is not the only one I have lost. I have lost my baby Jude. I have lost my lifelong dream of a big family and I have lost all those future children I dreamed about. I don’t know if I’ll ever hold my own four month old baby again in my lifetime. There’s a very good chance I won’t and that is a death in itself.
I am very proud of myself for taking such a huge step today and finally holding Jack. I have missed holding him and knowing him for these past four months. A few people have told me that they think one day I will have an extra special relationship with Jack because he reminds me of Lucy and he is Lucy’s age. That always seemed impossible because of my intense pain. Tonight it seems like it could be a reality. I can’t wait for that day when I will be healed enough to have an extra special relationship with Jack, I think he might even end up being my favorite.