Becky’s Blog – April 24, 2012

Julian had a severe form of arthogryposis, and had hyper flexed limbs and a malformed windpipe, disallowing him to breathe on his own. The strength he demonstrated in enduring so much pain to come to us and meet us is still staggering to me. I can see his gorgeous face and his big, beautiful, inquisitive eyes. He took in everything, as if he were committing it all to memory. He was a dream come true and the fact that he left us far too soon plunged me into such depths of pain and anguish. I honestly didn’t think I would ever climb out.

My dear friend Sandy told me about an organization called HAND (Helping After Neonatal Death). They are based in the Bay Area and held meetings close to my home. However, I knew I wasn’t ready to go into a group setting and talk about Julian. I learned that they had an online Yahoo group, which I promptly joined and read everyone’s stories of the loss of their babies. It was heart wrenching to learn just how many parents lose their precious infants and children.

I shared my story and immediately received the warmest, most beautiful e-mails from other parents, providing support and kind words. It was staggering. We exchanged photos and birthdays and formed fast friendships based on our mutual heartbreak. We talked about the pain and anguish, the difficulties in moving forward, the aching arms longing to hold our precious babies. I loved being able to tap into this cocoon of support from the comfort of my very own living room, 24/7.

I continued to read all the stories of the new members as they came in and made it a point to respond to each and every one and offer a shoulder and an ear and, hopefully, some small semblance of comfort. As my heart started to mend, I found a great deal of strength in being able to be there for other parents, sharing my story with them. The circle was complete.

I continue to correspond with some of the mothers in my original support circle and they are wonderful friendships strengthened by the most painful of bonds.

I’ve often been asked what the right thing to say is to a parent who has lost a child. Often people remain silent because they don’t know what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. I always tell them that it is perfectly okay to say, “I don’t know what to say.” Be there. Listen. Remember that we will never “get over it”.  The pain will ease and eventually we will be able to smile when we think of our child, but they will always be missed and forever loved.

www.handonline.org

www.facebook.com/handonline

5 Comments

  1. Lyz Sweet
    April 24, 2012

    You’re such a strong woman. I was so close to feeling that same kind of pain. My heart goes out to you, Don and baby Julian.

  2. Kris Sanchez
    April 24, 2012

    Thank you for telling us what to say when nothing seems quite right.

  3. Linda Thorvund
    April 25, 2012

    Once again Becky has spoken so elequently about her experience. She gives voice to many parents who have survived an unbearable time in their lives. I am so proud to call her my daughter in law. Love you Becky

  4. Kat Dennin
    April 25, 2012

    Becky, you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to all. Thank you for sharing your story, I can’t tell you how much your words have touched my heart. God bless you and your family. Love, Kat <3

  5. Veronica Smith
    May 29, 2012

    I have thought of Julian over these last years… He has never left my heart. He touched me in a way so deep, that even though we never met, he has been the inspiration to living life with great love, hope and apprciation for the children “God” has given me. My boys are with me after enduring their own moments of pain, small compared to little Julian; but I am reminded each time I look at them how much your story, your life with Julian is what makes me try to be the best I can be for them and that I must be greatful. Thank you Julian, Thank you Becky for being such a wonderful, caring and giving soul!


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