Since Joshua died, I have not had a horribly hard time with babies his age.
Just weeks after he died, we went up to University of Michigan to visit baby Bowen who was born just after Joshua. I held him and loved on him and visited with his parents. There were a few tears that were shed, but I got through it and felt good about it. I knew from the moment that Joshua died that I would have to face children who were the same age. I would have to watch them grow and I would have to deal with it.
I won't lie and say that it's been easy. There have been a few instances where I knew I couldn't attend a baby shower or two. There have been times that I have to skip over friend's albums on Facebook because the pain has been too raw, but this hasn't happened very often. Babies Joshua's age, have not bothered me like I thought they would.
However, it's becoming harder and harder for me. I see pictures of children who were born around the same time as Joshua. I see them walking and talking. I see them throwing balls and celebrating their birthdays. I see pictures of them with in the morning with pacifiers and bedhead. I see them in shopping carts at stores, strapped into carseats in their cars, and hear stories of the mischief they cause.
It's so incredibly hard sometimes.
There are days that I feel like Joshua was just a dream. His life a blur- something out of a half fairytale, half nightmare type of story. Then there are other days that it seems like he was growling at me through his pacifier just yesterday.
When I look at pictures of the children who were born around the same time as Joshua, I often catch myself wondering if their parents remember Joshua. I wonder if they recognize the gift that they have in their child. I wonder if they ever think of the mothers who don't get to see their child grow up. It's not a bitter feeling- just grief that comes and wreaks havoc in my heart.
Most times, I can't comment. Most times all I can do is muster a heart symbol. It's not because I'm bitter, but because every time I see a child his age, my heart breaks a tiny bit.
Lately, this has been really hard for me. I know I will move past it, and it won't be this hard forever, but sometimes the pain and grief are so raw.
If you are the parent of a child who is Joshua's age, please don't feel guilty. You cannot carry the guilt of your child living and mine dying. That is not your burden. This post is not directed at you. It is something that I have to deal with and usually writing about it helps me process it all. Love your baby and remember Joshua- that is all you need to do! :o)