We took Owen’s crib down. The very place our sweet child stopped breathing. The crib bumper and mobile were the last things our precious baby saw before death swept in.
What could have been the last thing Owen saw:
Owen’s crib was in the middle/corner. We placed them in birth order. First Logan, then Owen and on the end Weston. The first night back at home we moved the cribs so Logan and Weston would be right next to each other. I didn’t want them to feel the gapping space of a lost brother and empty crib in between them.
Doug really wanted to take it down … keep moving forward. I dragged my feet for the first few days but was ready. Jaden was spending the night at my parents and we found time where the two of us could be together and get it done. I stood in the corner taking pictures … documenting the removal of my child’s bed. Not because he was now a big boy and no longer needed a crib, but because he was dead.
A mother and her camera usually spell out proud mother, milestones, sporting events, birthdays, happiness. I had my camera to hang onto the last moments of the physical evidence that we have triplets. Every bolt removed, every board removed – I photographed. Not sure what else to do … I couldn’t let his crib be taken down without notice. It was a big deal – a milestone of sorts. Just not a milestone I ever thought I would want to remember.
The frame is disassembled and in the back shed. The linens are folded neatly and stored to be sold with the other bed sets, as a three pack. Hopefully to offer comfort to another child at some point in time. I debate who would want the bedding of a dead child? But if they never knew who’s it was … would it matter?
As a new mother I’m not sure I could lay my child to rest on the very sheet a child died in. Disgusting. How often does it happen tho? Will the sheets that Owen used in the hospital be used again with another child? How much do we not know about the ones and the things we encounter in life?
The room that was once crammed with cribs, now feels so open and almost empty. There are still two cribs and a changing table … but it feels empty. I want to get a rocking chair for where Owen’s crib was. On some level just to fill the space so it feels as full as before, but also for a place to sit while the boys sleep. To keep them company when they may or may not need it.
Owen’s crib was removed, but it was replaced with the feeling and sense of loss.
I am thankful that Weston and Logan won’t know the feeling of a missing bed. They at least won’t have their own memories of three beds being cut down to two beds. For that I’m thankful. I can take away some of the pain from my kids … I can carry this weight for them. As a mother all I have ever wanted to do was give my kids happiness and protect them from pain.
They will be raised knowing that they are triplets. That their brother Owen died at 6 months old. But may they feel warmth from his memories that Doug and I keep alive. May they never feel the pain of emptiness when they are referred to as twins. I pray that Jaden, Logan and Weston come through this feeling more loved than before … now they have an angel on their side.