I did it again today. I told a mom that I have four boys … a five and a half year old and triplet 18 month olds. I held the conversation as if I had four warm bodies at the dinner table. As if I have four foreheads to kiss before bed time. Four sets of teeth to brush … four breakfasts to make in the morning. This is what I lead this woman to believe, yet it is a lie.
My reality is forever a lie. I have four children, yet nothing to show for it. I say that I have triplets, because I believe I do, yet I can’t prove it. I reply that I have four children, yet I have to go back and clarify … well I really have three, Owen passed away almost a year ago.
I don’t want to face that there are only five at our table. I don’t want to say that I have three boys. Yet three boys are my reality. Three meals, three faces, three kisses at night. When I tell people I have four boys am I in a state of denial? Have I not fully accepted that Owen died? I think I know that he died. I feel like I accept it … but if I really accepted his death would I still say that I have four children?
The medical examiner finally confirmed that the DNA testing came back negative. There is no evidence as to why Owen died. She said that I didn’t sound surprised by the results. I wasn’t. I knew it was going to come back inconclusive. I expected no answers. We didn’t opt to have an autopsy as a means to finding answers. We made the decision out of responsibility to Jaden, Logan and Weston. If there was something we could learn, we needed to find out so we could protect the children we had left.
I told her it was ok to stop looking for answers. It was time to close out his life insurance policy. We don’t need the money, but it’s just time to get the paperwork filed. I’m sick of getting the letters in the mail requesting a death certificate. I believe it’s going to state that the cause of death is SIDS. One of the words that no one thinks it’s going to effect them. I’ll never get cancer … until someone you knows receives the diagnosis. It never happens to you … until it does.
I look at the front door and I remember throwing the baby swing out-of-the-way to allow room for the stretcher to get through the front door. I remember wearing Doug’s fleece that night. The same fleece he wore while outside for our family bonfire tonight. Shit … life keeps ticking way … you keep wearing the same clothes … yet everything seems to be a lie. My reality is a lie. I have four children, not three.
The anniversary is on the horizon. Doug and I are flying his sister, Sherri, home. I’m ok …. really I am. My heart is a little heavier than usual, but it’s not too heavy. For the first time in my life, I am truly blessed with amazing, quality friends. I can’t tell you the amount of support I receive from my Supermom’s group at church. They were physically in my home the day that Owen got sick (hours before). They are forever bonded to my definition of who I am … simply because they were there. I can never forget their faces … they are burned into my mind just as the small details of the ambulance ride are.
Jaden crawled onto my lap this evening … mama I want to you to have another baby. I’m sorry, what?!?! I asked him why? He said because Owen died, we needed to have another baby. Is it crazy that I felt the same way? I wanted another child so badly after he died. You can’t replace him. Having another baby would never fill the hole of my dead child. Yet, Jaden has the same feeling like I do. There is a baby missing … so let’s have another to fill the gap. Do I feel like a child, or is he mature in his thinking? The line is blurred … grief is a fog that disguises clear lines.
The path is unknown. Unforeseeable. Sometimes I make the wrong turn … I find myself in the middle of a huge muddle puddle and must swim across the trench … in the cold and dirty water. Yet, I am not sorry that I made the wrong turn. I am not discouraged. I am thankful for the lessons I learned along the way. I praise God for my pain … it’s the proof I need to know that I am alive .. that I am real.
God is good – he has never left my side. And if you are in pain as you read this … he has not left your side other. He is there, whether you know he is there or not.
PS. I can barely watch this video … but it also screams of life to me. It forces me to remember his face with life. It forces me to acknowledge the nightmare I am living. He once had life. He no longer is alive. He is never coming back. Never.