An article on bereaved parents tells others never to say, “At least you have other children.” The author poses the question, “And which of your children would you like to live without?”
But still, I can’t imagine what we’d do right now if we didn’t have Benjamin. It’s not that we love Lydia any less than Ben. It's not that I don't want my daughter just as much as my son. It’s just that Ben is my reason to get out of bed in the morning. He needs me. I need to be needed right now.
Our baby items – the swing and the bouncers and the high chair and the car seat and the Boppy and the Bumbo - all the things you think you need before you bring home a baby – Benji used them all. They have happy memories associated with them. Sure, we expected to make new memories of Lydie with them, and it rips my heart out looking at the empty swing in the front room. But still, Benji rolled over on that play mat. He used every bottle, and the bottle rack dried them. I cannot fathom coming home to all those items, brand-new, just received at the baby shower, just set up carefully by Dad, with no baby.
Our counselor, who we saw on Friday and we’ll see again on Monday, kept telling me not to compare loss or grief. Not to compare miscarriages to stillborn babies to losing a child at any age. And specifically to me, not to compare losing your first child to losing your second child. And I get where she’s coming from; I’m quickly learning that each person has their own grief, which is so unique (which is why I hate when people tell me “I know how you feel.” You have NO idea how I feel. I also find that people who have actually been through similar situations never try to tell me they understand… because they know how individual grief is.)
Even so, I told her how I feel less empty – physically less empty – when Ben is sitting on my lap. I have never so appreciated the weight of my son before.
We made it out of the house on a short walk this morning, and this kid makes me smile. I'm so grateful to have him as my biggest distraction to my broken heart right now. And I'm so sad that he is going to grow up without his sister.