This is not a funny post. It is not a helpful post or call to action. This is a hard sad post that I need to write because I need to stop writing it night after night in my head.
This isn’t my story to tell, which is why I’ve resisted writing about it. It is not my tragedy. But it has affected me greatly and I need to talk.
Two weeks ago, a little boy died. A sweet, beautiful, observant little boy, four days older than BabyABC, a playdate friend. We knew him only casually but somehow, I’d made enough room for him in my heart that there is a noticeable hole now. He died very unexpectedly for unknown reasons. Those who were there suspect mistakes were made by the medical professionals trying to save him. An investigation is pending. But whatever the cause, he is gone. And his parents are left behind.
What his parents are going through… I stay up at night thinking about it. Horror. There is no other word for it. It is unfair and unnatural and sickening and terrifying. It is horrific. To be ripped out of the active role of parent in this way. To be so suddenly without a piece of your heart. It keeps me awake.
His mother is not my best friend. We were connected by our children. We mostly talked about our children and things related to them. So are we anything to each other now? Is there any way I can help her find even a tiny bit of peace? Or would hearing from me now add to her pain?
I went to the funeral. I struggled with that decision. I honestly didn’t know if I could handle it. The thought of going made me feel sick to my stomach and terrified, while the thought of not going made me feel sick to my stomach and ashamed. In the end I decided I could live with terror, but not shame. Sitting there, saying goodbye, watching his parents say goodbye was one of the worst, most painful experiences of my life. The stark contrast between his photos, full of life and curiosity, and him actually there in a child-sized casket, his mourning parents standing before us, made it unbearably real. Unfair, unnatural, horrific, and real.
Every time someone asks me how I am lately, I want to tell them this story. I want to pour some of this horror out at their feet in the hopes that they’ll take some of it away from me. I want to say “Don’t you know? A little boy died. How can anyone be ok?” I want to tell them that even though this is not my story, I am a little bit broken by it. And I think maybe I always will be.