Saturday, July 18, 2009

Speaking of Luke

Dear Andy,

You probably have noticed by now that Daddy and I talk about Luke quite a bit - and we do it in passing, in normal, everyday conversations. We hope that you find this normal and that you grow up knowing that you have a brother in heaven who is so very important to us and our family. I have a sister in heaven so I know that it can be sort of difficult to understand why she isn't here and why Luke isn't here. I still don't really understand that either so I can't really explain it.

The thing is, there are so many families in the world who have experienced someone dying in this way. It isn't really something that a lot of people are comfortable talking about, but what's interesting is that the people who have gone through it, they actually want to talk about it - they want people to know about their entire family, not just the ones here on this earth. I was reading another blog recently written by a dad whose daughter died. He was answering some questions about her and I thought they were really good questions. So I'm going to take a stab at them here, because these are important things to talk about. If we don't talk about them, they world doesn't become educated and we don't move forward.
1. What do you want people to know about the child that you lost? First, we didn't lose him. We know where he is. I understand that "lost" is a euphemism for "died" but it's ok to say that he died because he did. He was a real person who was alive and now he's not. It doesn't make him any less important. I understand that people aren't necessarily comfortable talking about him, but I am and I'm his mother and Daddy is his father, and you're his brother. I also want people to understand that just because he died more than two years ago doesn't mean I don't miss him and doesn't mean I don't think of him every day, multiple times. When I'm at work and I wonder what you're up to at Reenie's house, I think of Luke and wonder what he's up to in heaven. That's what mommies and daddies do of course.

2. What names did you give your child and why? Before we ever got pregnant with Luke, we picked his name. Luke Michael. It was always going to be his name and so we weren't going to change it. We liked the name Luke, and Michael is after your grandaddy and my grandaddy.

3. What rituals or ways of memorializing your child help you cope? We talk about him a lot, in the normal ways that parents talk about their children. We try very, very hard to support other people who have children in heaven. We do whatever we can to help people to communicate about this. We also do things like memorial walks and stuff like that, but it is the everday act of talking about Luke that helps me cope.

4. What are the most helpful things that anyone said to you? The least helpful? Right after we had Luke, the most helpful thing anyone has said to me is that they are sorry, and that there is nothing else that can be said to help. Nowadays, it's just the mere mentioning of him and acknowledging him as a person that is helpful. The worst things? Well I did have someone once ask me if there was some "shot or something" they could give me to "fix what was wrong with me" so my next baby (you) wouldn't die. Or that I should be thankful for what happened to him (not so much). Or that he is "in a better place." That may be true but in the immediate aftermath, doesn't really help. People mean the best you know, and they want to help. In many instances we don't know the right thing to say. This is just one example of that- we will all say the wrong thing sometime. We're human after all.

5. Who is your hero? Who helps you get through the dark times? Or there are so many. Daddy is my hero...he is so strong and has such strong faith. He is always willing to talk and he values both you and Luke so much. You truly hit the dad jackpot, I'll tell you that, kiddo. Other heroes...cousin Debbie and I could write a book with all the emails that we've sent each other over the years. She too has so much faith. I'd be faithless without all these fabulous faithful people around. Also, grandma and grandaddy and all the other parents of stillborn children. There are so many out there and so many are part of our lives even if we haven't physically met them. The women that I've met online truly rock my world and amaze me. You know who else is my hero? You are. You brought light into my world and do so every day - the mere sight of you makes me heart swell with love, even if I'm looking at you trying to eat pennies (which you're doing right now). Your happy and wise spirit is such a gift, and I can only imagine that your brother Luke wanted you to be here and has and will always keep you safe and happy.

So that's it buddy. I hope this helps you understand a little bit. Now, back to keeping you from eating pennies...

1 comment:

  1. Hey I recognise these questions - thanks for carrying on the meme. I totaly get your need to capture how you feel about Luke. And to talk to Andy too about these things. I am sure if he reads these when he grows up it will help him understand his mom and dad better.

    It is good that there are like minded people out there so thanks for sharing.

    God Bless