After losing two children, Carolyn and Matthew, and then having two more children, Kim and Danny, my wife explained a recent experience.
Holding Child After Death
She said: “The other night when you were gone on a business trip, I was watching television after I put Kim and Danny to sleep. Our kids are so wonderful. A nurse on a news show was demonstrating how mothers whose babies died were allowed to hold the small lifeless bodies in order to say goodbye and get some feeling of closure. Most of the mothers spoke very positively about the experience. As each one spoke, they sobbed.
“After the second one told her story, I began to cry, a little at first, and then I was crying loudly. I had to stop so as not to wake the kids. That night I cried myself to sleep. I never had the chance to say goodbye to either Carolyn or Matthew. It hurt really bad. I was down for the next two days before you came home.”
Gratitude Amid the Grief
My wife continued: “And then I think about Walter’s story. That guy who you knew at work. He and his wife were tortured by their circumstances. The needs and heartache of their sick child was all consuming at the expense of their other two children who they felt they were ignoring. That awful love hate relationship with that child. They gave up their lives for that kid, and still have no hope. I feel for them.
“We are so much better off,” she said. “I realize that may sound hard and callous, but we’re fortunate to have avoided that type of situation, preventing us from enjoying the life we have. Either Carolyn or Matthew, with just a small change of fate, may have gotten us there, because I know we would love and care for a child like that with all our hearts and energy. We must be thankful we weren’t given the choice that Walter and his wife have to face every day. So thankful.”
She added: “Oh, I dislike thinking of those things and getting so down. But I can’t help it. It just wells up in me.” Her eyes were watery. A tear trickled down her cheek.
“I know. I know,” I said hugging her closely.
The previous is excerpted from the book, Weave of Destiny, by Ken Lefkowitz, published by Legacy Book Press. Available for sale at this link: Weave of Destiny – Legacy Book Press
Read more by Ken Lefkowitz: Husband Admires Wife’s Strength After Child-Loss – Open to Hope