Hope. And help.

It’s strange – this blogging about my most intense, personal emotions. I am putting my agony and grief and fear and hope out there for anyone who cares to read. It’s cathartic, but it also reminds me that other people are grieving along with us. Grief – I have found – is isolating. Even knowing that I do not tread a new path, that many mothers have tread this path before me, I feel alone.

Yet, every day, I see other people are carrying our grief with us, trying to alleviate the burden if only for a time – offering to help, sending cards, taking care of our children, giving me hugs, a gentle pat on the back, acknowledging that they know that I am suffering but that I am not suffering alone.

As a mother, I’ve always empathized intensely with other mothers suffering childhood illnesses, devastating diagnosis for their children. I’ve read blogs and Facebook posts about mothers  with ill children, and my heart has ached for them. I’ve longed to do something tangible for friends far and near with difficult pregnancies, with sick children, with losses. I’ve tried to be supportive to friends that are struggling.

Now I am that person. I am the mother that people read about and for whom they weep. I am the one that people want to reach out and help. It’s hard to accept help. I’ve always prided myself on being a self-sufficient working mother – having a full time job, yet having both our children at home full-time , and making it all work. Now I am having to ask for help, and I am finding it hard.

And yet, I know people WANT to help. When faced with a situation like ours, I know that other people grieve for and with us, and the only thing to do in that situation is to offer help, in whatever small way you can.

And so I am going to let people help me. And I am going to ask for help.

And despite the struggle that we are having and those to come, I am going to remember to help others, to support other mothers, to say thank you, and to be happy when my friends are happy, to rejoice in whatever good news that they have to share.

I refuse to let this make me bitter and angry. I refuse to lose hope. I don’t know what is coming, but I know that this baby will have more love in his life- however short – then some have in their entire lifetime.

I remember when my cousin, Crosby, died at 2 years old. He drowned in a tragic accident. My grandfather spent almost every single day with Crosby, and he was absolutely devastated (as we all were and are) by his death. I remember sitting on the bed next to my broken-hearted grandfather, and one thing I told him was to remember that Crosby was so loved. He had more love in his 2 years than many unfortunate children ever feel in their whole lives. His life was bathed in sunshine. He didn’t know a bad day.

The same is true for my son now. Those words that I spoke have always stuck within me, and I know that they are true. Whatever James has, whatever comes, he will have love.

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