Over the past five months my thoughts and feelings have changed in regards to losing Jacob.
At first I was heartbroken, unable to function without thinking about my sweet baby or balling up in tears. As time has passed, of course I am still heartbroken and miss my baby boy, but in a different way. A couple of months ago, a good friend of the family and her husband received the horrible news that their sweet baby was "not compatible with life", and upon birth would pass away. In that moment, I felt extreme sadness for them and was dreading the day they would lose their baby. This day came earlier than they had planned. Sweet Tyler was born on Thursday morning via emergency c-section. He lived one precious hour here on earth. It was in the instant his mommy messaged me to let me know he had gone home to be with the Lord, that I was somehow grateful. Definitely not grateful that my boy isn't here with me or that her baby had gone to Heaven, but grateful because now I have experience in losing a child. Because of Jake, she has somewhere to turn. My sweet friend and I now share more of a common bond. One that I wish we didn't have to. My son, and her five year old step-son share a common bond of having baby brothers in Heaven. I am glad that through my pain and sorrow, someone can now find some comfort and peace. The Lord works in Mighty ways that at the time of Jake's death I didn't understand. I never dreamed that I would have a friend who lived off of my advice and past experience on grieving and child loss.
As the milestones have began for my friend, mine have become refreshed in my mind. I remember leaving the hospital without Jake... I remember all too well the pain of sitting at home and watching the clock on the wall.. waiting for the time when I would leave home to attend my son's funeral. I remember sitting at Jake's funeral, staring at his casket, amazed that I was having to do this.
My heart is broken in a whole new way.
Not for me so much anymore.
But for my dear friend and her family, as now they begin this journey through grief.
My heart is broken for any new parents who are learning today that their child is incompatible with life, or those who without warning lose their child.
I know what it's like - I'm on that road too.
And, it's never ending.