Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Aftermath

It's been a week since Aiden's birthday. I'm restless, tired, and emotionally volatile. Last weekend was really okay for part of me, the surface I show people so they don't worry, but underneath I'm torn up inside. Last week I had a birthday party for my dead son.

There was no little personal cake for him to tear at and make a mess of, no toys for him to play with, no ribbons or presents or anything that would make celebrating his birthday feel right. I mean, we did the best we could under the circumstances, what with not having an actual baby boy there share our love and joy with. You can read all about it in my wife's blog, so I'm not going to go into detail about what we did.

I feel so lost and unfulfilled. We always talk about this hole in our hearts, the void our children left behind, and everybody has a snappy, optimistic suggestion about filling that hole with love or charity or whatever random virtue is supposed to make us feel good. I don't want to do any of that, though. That's Aiden's spot. He belongs there. Is it utterly selfish of me to want to keep that hole empty for him? 

I've been reading to Little Kevie at night, and tonight Angie brought me a book about a father and a son. I couldn't read the first sentence of the book without breaking down, so we had to switch to something else. But it got me thinking, am I ever going to be able to read that book to Kevin? We got it from our close friends at Aiden's baby shower, and on the inside cover is a little note about they couldn't wait to meet him. Will I always be thinking of him when I read it? The last thing I ever want to do is to make Kevin feel like I don't love him for all I'm worth, because I do.

At the same time I'm not sure I can read that book to him without thinking of Aiden and being sad. And if I can't read that book to him, are there other books I won't be able to read to him? Are there activities I won't be able to participate in with him because I'd always imagined doing these things with Aiden?

A large fear is that Kevin's going to grow up in the shadow of Aiden. I've put Aiden on a pedestal. He can do no wrong, and he'll always be perfect in my eyes. I'm afraid that I'm going to expect too much of Kevin, that I'll somehow instill in him a sense that he's not worthy because he's not his brother.

I guess knowing your shortfalls in life helps you to overcome them, so here's to hoping I can overcome mine.


Kevin, if you're reading this someday, I want to say this to you:

You're just under 7 months in the womb, you're an active little boy, and nothing makes me happier than to feel you squirm and kick inside your mommy's tummy. Even now you're responding to my voice, and I can only imagine you're just as excited to meet me as I am to meet you. I love you so much, and, no matter what, that will always be true.


Aiden, mommy and daddy miss you terribly. We'll all be together again someday, somehow. In the universe, all things are possible.


Nerissa said...

Beautiful post. I found you through Angie's blog and I'm following yours now too. I think all your worries are valid worries to have, but at the same time, I don't think that will be the case. Of course, Aiden can do no wrong. he never had the chance. I have 2 living children and 4 living step-children and I worry all the time that they will think I love Holden more just because I talk about him and cry about him. Holden will never be told no, or sent to time out. I'll never tell a story about the horribly mischievous things that he did. I wish could. So desperately. But I can't. Much love to you Kevin.

Joanna said...

Hi Kevin - oh, I so totally get your feelings. On the anniversary of our baby's death, we 'met', via ultrasound, our second child. Although I'm carrying this baby, I can't relate to it - I keep thinking of our sweet angel and I also wonder if I'm somehow going to 'worship' our angel instead of focussing my energies on our living child[ren]. I keep hoping that once the baby is here my focus will change, but it is very very hard.

Jay said...

i'm right there with you. we "celebrated" our son's birthday earlier this month. no cake, no party...all we could do was visit his gravesite and tell him how much we loved him. it is hard on dads...people don't get it. we will never get to teach our sons what our fathers taught us.

my wife is now pregnant with our second child...i am finding it hard to be excited given the knowledge i gained with the loss of our first child. that hole that was meant to be filled by my son is still there. it is like you is meant for someone else. i don't want it to be filled. that would mean that i have forgotten him, and i never want to do that.

hang in there certainly are not alone in your thoughts.

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