Saturday, May 14, 2011

Big Brother

August was 3 1/2 when his baby brother was born still. He is now 5 years, 2 months old and so much "wiser". Tonight, he asked to look in Baby Sterlings Memory Box. A beautiful white box with a peridot green ribbon (his birthstone), given to us by the wonderful team of nurses at Northridge Hospital. We haven't opened that box in atleast 9 months, so it was almost like a completely new experience.

As August tearfully looks at a picture of his little brother he says to me, "Mommy, why didn't I get to hold Baby Sterling when he came out of your tummy?". Simple response: "Because you were too young". Inside my heart is racing, remembering the truth, that even 34 years old was "too young", or "too frail" or "too broken" or "too sad" to hold our breathless boy. His dad did though, and his explanation seemed so much more meaningful. "We held him so that we could see what it felt like. We loved him the moment we found out he was in mommy's tummy and we wanted to keep him close".

Now, instead of holding his baby brother, August has to hold his ashes. As I wached my loving son wrap up the tightly closed urn in the royal blue baby blanket that once held Baby Sterlings body, he held it close to his heart and shares, " Why can't I open it? Now I will never be able to hold him. But because I love him so much, I will always keep his ashes right here". August now knows about cremation. He not only has the comfort and at times obsession with "heaven", but he is processing the concept of "what happens when we don't need our bodies anymore". At 5. My amazing son. Talking about what he wants to happen when he dies. "Just tuck my body in my bed with my blanket and I will be comfortable" was his response a couple days ago. Tonight the request was a bit sure of the word here.... "Please keep my ashes too so that you can always hold me and love me sooo much".

Again, screaming inside, I want to shout...don't say that! I can't bear the thought of losing another. Of losing of YOU! Instead, we revist the idea that everyone has a purpose. Baby Sterlings purpose is up in heaven. Ours is here on earth and we have a lifetime to "figure it all out". But this..we never will. We never will know why. Despite all the grief therapy, chromosomal testing, autopsy results, and all the sleepless nights...we really know nothing more than we did the nightwe learned of his passing. And that is OK. But to August..."It's just not fair, I love him so much. I want him to be here with our family". His words. My thoughts. Still.