They Know

Seems hard to believe

that after two months there are still people that I know that

don’t know what happened to Brecken.  You’re reading this wondering how that is even possible.

Brecken’s story went viral and has been reached by thousands of people.  It did not reach, however, to the

very people who live in this complex with us.  The closest, physical, people we know and yet, they don’t know what

has been going on with us these last few months.

We aren’t particularly

close to anyone in the remainder three townhouses, so it’s

not like they all had Brecken’s due date circled on their calendars.  We also rarely ever

see anyone else and if we do, it’s generally in passing and accompanied by short, quick, half-smiles

and a quiet “Hi”.  Torry and I have been out and about many times the last 3 months and I’ve hardly seen

any of the neighbors.  The only one I’m close enough to, is our right next door neighbor, Jody.  She helped take care

of our dogs the first night I went to the hospital to have Brecken.  The last thing she knew, was that someone

else was coming to take over dog watch because we encountered complications and they would need a more

permanent sitter.

After Brecken had died, running into people that knew

I was pregnant but didn’t know what happened was one of my biggest fears. My chiropractor,

my OB/GYN, the Urologist, the tellers at the bank I frequent etc. were some on that list.  They were all

hard to face because all of them (minus the tellers) asked about my new baby and I would just look

at them like they had just stabbed me in the gut, twisted the knife and left me there to die a slow death.  The

looks on all of their faces quickly turned to match mine in fear of what I would say next.

Telling someone new about my

baby boy has not gotten any easier.  In fact, I feel it’s getting harder.

But one thing I know is that it’s harder when it’s unexpected.  It puts those who ask

in an uncomfortable position for asking and my spontaneous tears make my story difficult to tell.

Because of this, I wanted to be ahead of the game with Jody and beat her to the punch of the awkwardness.

I texted her one evening to ask when it would be a good time to go over.  She let me know and

we planned on later that night.  When she text me to tell me she was home and ready to have me over,

I grabbed the photo album Polka Dot Umbrella Photography made for me so that I could introduce

Brecken to Jody.  I sat down on her couch gripping the book.  She didn’t ask anything about

Brecken.  I started off by picking up where she was left off from our situation.

I began to tell her everything from the birth, to his NICU stay in Milwaukee, his diagnosis, and

our decision to bring him home.  When I shakily told her he had died after being home for 9.5 days she instantly

gasped, put her hand up to her mouth and broke out in tears. I was crying myself a little bit as I was telling her.

I then walked over to the couch she was sitting on so she could look at his pictures and ‘meet’ him.

I told her I wanted to tell her about everything before we ended up running into each other and having

her ask about him and getting the awkward feeling after hearing my answer.

Then, a few days ago as I was on my way

out the door to go spend some time with one of my closest friends, Courtney,

the neighbors in unit B were outside at their car.  Torry and I suspected something was going on in their

own personal lives as the mom was rarely ever there anymore.  This was my first time seeing her since before I gave

birth to Brecken. We said our “Hello’s” and proceeded to have small talk.  I hadn’t seen her little boy in a long time

and commented on how big he has gotten.  She then asked how our little one was doing.  I remained silent for a moment

looking off in a different direction trying to figure out the best, fastest way to tell her (since Courtney was waiting in her

car).  I just cut to the chase and told her that he had died.  She was instantly sorry

for asking and started making her way over to me asking questions along the way.  She asked if he was full term,

still born etc-typical questions.  I told her “Yes, he was full term, no he was not still born”-well sort of.

I then proceeded to tell our story in the shortest version possible.

  I couldn’t help myself from bursting into tears.  There was a sob that interrupted every other

 word I tried to get out.  My neighbor hugged me and as I started to tell her more about what

happened to Brecken I began to cry even harder on her shoulder.  I barely know her, but there was something

comforting about breaking down in her embrace.  I stopped telling my story for a few minutes and just

cried. She told me about how she understands not having your first born with you.  She didn’t experience

the death of a child, but she gave her first born, a boy, up for adoption when she was 18.  I asked her “Why?”

and she said that she wasn’t about to raise a child in the living conditions she was under.  She couldn’t financially

support him and made the brave, hard decision to give him up.  He may not be dead, but she understands

the pain of not having your baby anymore.  It’s gotta be hard knowing that he’s still alive and happy in

someone else’s home other than her own.

I know that over time, there will always someone who doesn’t

know about Brecken.  It will probably always be hard to explain why Brecken is no longer with us.

I’m sure it will get a little easier, but the reality of that pain will still be there no matter what.  I just can’t

see ever getting over this. I don’t know how a parent in this situation ever could.

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One thought on “They Know

  1. Hi, I cannot begin to understand your feelings of loss. I am mother of two boys who, by the Grace of God where blessed to me. However, I have suffered two miscarriages as well. I never got to meet my babies. My Sam and my Blake are angels in Heaven and I know I have two something’s to look forward to when the Good Lord takes me home. I have a feeling of emptiness that is unexplainable. And allowed myself to fall into a deep deep depression. To the point of massive anxiety attacks, and the need for not just one, but four medications to make me feel somewhat “normal”. Therapy is helping. My husband is amazingly supportive. We have suffered many hardships in recent years, our lost babies the worst of the pain. I admire you for sharing your story with your beautiful boy Brecken. You are stronger than you think. Please know that while you are expressing your story, as painful and difficult as it is, you are helping others. More people than you know, you are touching their lives. Helping them heal from their loss. Brecken has given you the gift to heal others and yourself. He is making you stronger. I know you don’t know me, but I I am a mother who has lost too. A club no wants to belong to. I will pray for you and your family. May you find peace and comfort, and may you survive your loss of such a precious gift. My heart breaks for you.

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