‘Why did you have another baby?’ I try to not bury myself with my son, but to live better because he had lived.’: Mom finds ‘gratitude’ in grief after losing son, ‘goodness is all around, if I just take a moment to see it’

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“This scene should be one of total peace, and yet for a mom that has lost a child while sleeping, it’s terrifying.

Suddenly, I realize she’s been sleeping for a while. And she’s oh so still. And silent.

And in those small moments of wondering, my fears start wandering.

This is all too good to be true.

Courtesy of Allison Brost

See? Why did you have another baby?

Life can’t really be good again, can it?

If something happens to her, then everyone will know what an awful mother you are.

The ugly, hateful words hurt just thinking about them and I dare not speak them into life.

And yet…there they are. Swirling around in my mind.

An invisible enemy trying to creep his way into my life.

Doing what he does best-trying to steal, kill and destroy.

Courtesy of Allison Brost

And you know what?

My logic alone falls flat against these lies. Because I’ve been there before. To my worst nightmare. It CAN happen.

Those first few days after losing him felt like gasping for breath. Simple tasks such as taking a shower or eating a meal seemed insurmountable. And while I longed to sleep away all the thoughts and feelings, even that eluded me.

I realized the only way to get through grief was to actually go through it.

Courtesy of Allison Brost

To cry whenever I needed to cry and share with whomever I felt comfortable enough to share with and read whatever spoke to my heart. To not look too far into the future, but simply to do the very next thing.

And slowly, one day at a time, I realized I was not alone. Others had gone through these same feelings and questions before. Others who lived hurt, but allowed their heartache to transform them into more caring, compassionate people.

And I knew that’s what I wanted, too. To not bury myself with my son but to live better because he had lived.

Courtesy of Allison Brost
Courtesy of Allison Brost

Now, nearly two years later and with a new baby, I try not to worry. About keeping his little sister safe or how her future will look or all the other things that are out of my hands.

And to remind myself that while I can’t control what happens tomorrow, I can choose to take hold of today. Sometimes that means letting my baby wear a sleep monitor to calm my fears. And it also means snapping a bazillion photos and soaking in every snuggle, because I know first-hand how precious today is.

Courtesy of Allison Brost

Learning to live without my son has felt like learning to live without an arm. It impacts everything I do.

Initially you are overcome with shock and sadness over all that you’ve lost. You can’t imagine that this is how life will now look. But, ever so slowly, you begin learning to maneuver without it. You balance things using your legs or open a bag with your teeth or learn to crack an egg with one hand. And from the outside, it might even seem like you’re thriving. Still you never, ever grow back your arm.

That’s how it feels to lose a child.

I’ll never stop missing my son, because I’ll never stop loving him. And while this achyness never goes away, maybe I don’t really want it to.

Loss leads you to a crossroads—a choice between becoming bitter or becoming better. Between focusing on the regrets or taking each new day with gratitude. Between focusing on all the unanswerable questions or choosing to live in faith.

For me, I daily want to choose to see the goodness. To believe that this isn’t all an accident and my son’s life has a purpose.

Choosing faith means believing that goodness can come out of even the most horrific things. And while sometimes it’s hard to see it, when I look around I find that goodness is still here. It’s in the fiery colors of a new sunrise, in the antics of my boys playing, in my little girl’s big, blue eyes.

Goodness is all around, if I just take a moment to see it.”

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Courtesy of Allison Brost

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Allison Brost. You can follow her journey on Facebook, Instagram, and her websiteSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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