As we’ve had our rainbow baby, I’ve found my grief journey taking a different direction. New things come to mind as well as new triggers. Ninja grief-as my fellow SHARE group members call it. And I find myself missing Jack, more and more. It has been almost a reopening of the wound that has taken so much to begin to heal. Not at first, but once we were at home, in the quiet times especially. Actually experiencing all of the things we’ve missed out on with Jack has been so very hard. And we’re not even that far out. I can only imagine how the holidays will feel.

Some folks feel like we should move on now that we’ve had Owen. That Owen should somehow fix the gap in our hearts. But that is not fair to him. It is not fair to place that kind of weight on a human being who had no choice in being born after a sibling who happened to become an angel. Jack has big shoes that I expect no sibling to fill. Just as he has made an impact on our hearts, Owen has certainly made his own and I love both of our boys with equal respect.

Today, I had an interesting and humbling experience. We went out to dinner for my father’s celebration of his 20th year working for Ford Motor Co. and I brought Owen with me. Many people paid attention to him and asked questions about him, which caught me off guard. Why? Because I am so used to people changing the subject when I would talk about Jack. No one wanted to ask about Jack and people quit asking anything at all after a while. I honestly am not used to people actually wanting to talk about my child. I actually laughed on my car ride home because it feels so weird to me. How screwed up am I?

I guess the main point of this post is that, while we have Owen whom we love, we also still have Jack. He is not an elephant in the room to be ignored, but a permanent member of our family. And when we have Owen’s newborn photos taken this weekend, Jack will be included because anyone else would have their babies picture taken with their siblings too. We are also continuing to do Jack’s work, through the Giving Project (albeit at a slower pace) and we already tell Owen about his big brother. And obviously, I am continuing to write (at a less frequent interval!). So here we are, our happy little family. One mom, one dad, and TWO special little boys.

~EH

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