How do you answer? There is this strange awkwardness that happens when you tell someone that your baby dies but it is almost harder when it comes up with these innocent questions. ....who do you protect?...and from what are you needing protection from?
Jonathan is notorious for bombarding new visitors into our home with the passing of Jacob.....he tells people that we had a baby, his name is Jacob and he died. The end. Most of the time they haven't even made it up the stairs yet. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it makes for quite the moment. Most of the time people don't know what to say....usually they are just here to fix something so they go about their business. Today the man said, "So, no more baby?" and then had to go to his car to get something. I get it. Who knows what to say to that?
My instinct was to talk to Jonathan and tell him that we don't need to tell everyone....CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT WAS MY INSTINCT?!??!??! I DID NOT act on this instinct and thank the Lord I didn't! What a hypocrite I would have been! Jonathan stands by my side every time we are out and I tell someone about Jacob and I talk about what a blessing Jacob is to our family....he is only doing what his mama does! And who am I to put some stranger's feelings before one of the gifts God has entrusted me with?!??! (I know...shame on Karen...shame, shame to even think it!)
So, now, my outlook on the situation applies not only to me but to all my boys: better them feel awkward than us....we know what they are missing if we don't share. I feel terrible if I leave Jacob out and the last thing I need is to comfort someone else in my loss (I have never been one to hide much of what I am thinking:) I have spoken to a few other mothers who feel differently and I may someday, but right now, we are all about talking and that is what blesses us....it works.
I don't think I shared this with you all. The Friday of my crazy week of phone calls God gave to us, I went out to visit my sister with the boys in the evening. We sat at dinner and a young girl about 9 years old came right up to me and asked if we were sisters. I told her yes. Then Joshua came up to me and she asked if he was my son. I told her yes. She asked me if I had any other children. I pointed out Jonathan and then said that I had another boy in heaven. She said, "you mean he died?!?!" I told her yes. "How?!?" I told her that God made him so special and he wasn't made to live as long. Her mother told her that was enough but she just couldn't stop. I made it clear to the mother that I was fine with sharing.....it wasn't hurting me to share. So, this little girl went on and on....how did he die, when did he die, where did he die, what room did he die in, who was with him, do you miss him, did you bury him, did you baptize him, are you sad....believe it or not, these are not all of what she asked! Now, this mom was so very appreciative of me sharing with her....she tried hard to stop her and tell her it was enough, but she kept asking and I kept answering so it was ok. I showed her his picture, gave them a blog card with his picture and blog address and the mother looked at me with tears in her eyes and just thanked me for sharing. All I could say was, "No, thank you." Me, my boys, my sister and brother-in-law got into the car and as we were driving away, my brother-in-law asked, "Does that normally happen?" I said, "No. But she just asked all the questions everyone else wants to ask but just doesn't." We have been an open book so that if someone does ask, maybe there will be an impact on their lives and God just runs with it in their lives from there....who knows?
So, for us right now, it is better them feel strange than us feel guilty.....they'll get over it quickly where as we have Jacob forever stamped on our hearts....no regrets.
"We have a family of 5." "I have 3 boys." "Joshua, Jonathan, and Jacob Ryan."