It’s been six weeks since you’ve lost your playmate. And just when I thought you were getting better, you threw us for a loop. What did I do wrong? Am I supposed to stop disciplining you when you act out? I had to put you in time out last night otherwise I will be raising a pouty child. These past couple of days you’ve been smiling when you speak of your brother. These days laughter is a high shrill of delight as you play with your new puppy, Dusty (named after your brother’s favorite Plane’s character). These days you’re back to your bouncy self.
So where did this meltdown of tears and boogers come from last night? Are you just as frail as mommy and daddy these days? On the outside you look almost whole again even though I can see the sadness in heart as you play on your own in the room that you once played in with your brother. I stared at you in disbelief as I heard you cry out that you wanted to go to heaven with you brother.
Do you know what you’re saying? Do you know what that would do to us? Do you know what that actually means? Of course you don’t. You’re six. I’ve been telling you that Joaquin is in a place that’s even better than Disneyworld. Of course you want to go with him. I imagined that watching you breakdown last night was a lot like the night before when I did that in front of your abuela. She was torn and conflicted. So was I buddy. I was so torn, that I had to call abuela to come calm you down. It saddens me that sometimes I have no patience for your antics because my sadness can at times be overwhelming and at the same time I cannot live without you. Pumpkin, you are one of my saving graces and I thank God for you just as much as I thank Him for giving me Joaquin. I am so blessed beyond words! How can I make your sweet little six year old heart understand that God brought us here and God will get us through this?
I am so sorry that when we accepted this challenge 5 years ago I never once thought of the pain this would cause you. Believe me when I say that as scared as I was when your baby brother was in my belly, all I wanted was to hold him. I didn’t care if I held him for one hour or 65 years. I already loved him when I felt him kicking inside of me. I was scared but I wanted him so bad that I knew somehow, someway, I would get through all those scary moments. And I knew that you wanted him just as bad.
And you did. Sweet boy, you were the best big brother I have ever seen. Your baby brother admired you like no other. You should be proud. He always wanted to be next to you whether it meant sleeping next to you, sitting next to you in the bath or watching cartoons next to you in the living room. He loved being your little shadow.
I have two hurts right now. I hurt for the physical absence of your brother and I hurt watching you hurt. And to think that just a few days ago I was “jealous” of how you were coping. You see, baby, sibling loss is nothing compared to child loss. I know this now. And as I watched you go from devastated to almost back to normal just a few days ago I wondered why I couldn’t feel like that yet. But here we are. Back to devasted. And I now wish nothing more than to see you go back to almost normal. I’m sorry.
I love you all the way to the moon and back,