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A Letter To a Past Self

Dear Jordan,

This morning, your son died.

Right now it feels hopeless. As you hold your lifeless baby in your arms, silently pleading for a miracle that you know won’t come. You’re aching, screaming inside. Every tear that falls on his still face feels like a piece of your soul trying to seep life back into him. Every breath you take feels like betrayal. How can you, when he is not. I know.

He is gone. He is gone. He is gone. You’re telling yourself over and over as if it will help you believe it. How is this your life now, you want to shout. How do you keep going? How do you? How? But you will. I know.

Tonight you will lay awake, wishing you could quiet your mind of this darkness. You’ll stare at the ceiling, blinking through tears, hoping each time that when your eyes open again, your nightmare will be over. I know.

For days you’ll hardly speak, your only words spoken quick and quiet. No fluctuation, no depth, only to answer. Hunger or thirst won’t find you, but you’ll eat to appease those who worry. You move about the days stoically, while inside you are drowning. I know.

In this immediateness of your child’s death you feel lost and alone. You cannot fathom anyone understanding or respecting the space of devastation you, your husband, your son, now fill. You’re aware grief is individual, that nobody can feel yours but you. But your family, your friends, they will do their best to carry you through it. They will honor your feelings, your needs, and your choices. They will take care of you. I know.

You feel like your world just caved in and swallowed you whole with it. And, it did. But not forever. I know.

Good will come again. One day the joy you think has been stolen from you forever, will return. Your pain is real, it will never dissipate, it will rear its head unexpectedly, it will empty you, drain you and tire you often. But with time you will learn how to share it with life’s other feelings and experiences. I know.

Your journey will be hard. It will not be linear. You won’t ever forget. No, this loss is too significant. But you will grow, you will discover, you will heal, and you will never be alone. I know.

Love, you.

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