Through Theo's Stocking, I recently reconnected with a woman I worked with a few years ago. She left our workplace before I was pregnant with Theo and a mutual friend forwarded her this year's Stocking Blog. She contacted me after learning of Theo and our story and told me the story of her two sons who died--years apart from one another. Little Daniel was born and died in 1993. Sean was killed by a drunk driver in 2005.
This is the story she shared with me:
Daniel lived a week at MCV. The first time I was well enough to hold him was three hours before he died. Never had I experienced the deep continuing scalding of mourning.....not even when my Daddy had died 5 years earlier.
Sean was 13 when Daniel was born and died. He was deeply affected by this event. This was before there were groups to help children dealing with death and loss, so I did my best. Even though I felt abandoned by God and very alone and angry about Daniel's dying when I knew in my soul that I was told he would live; I tried to speak words of Faith to Sean. Faith in the goodness and providence of the power of the Universal Truth. I call her "God". I kept telling Sean that if he wanted a relationship with his brother, that he had to be open to Daniel and also reach out to him.
Over the years, Sean talked to Daniel nearly every day. He asked Daniel to speak to him, intervene for him, and help him from the other side. All through college, even, Sean's letters speak of his talking to Daniel. Sean saw Daniel as his guide, protector, and mentor. They became very close.
On June 7, 2005, a 55 year old man with an open gallon of wine between his legs, crossed three lanes of traffic and crashed into Sean and his then six-year-old daughter, Emma. Sean was taking Emma to feed a friend's gerbil. They were about 8 blocks from home. Emma survived her physical injuries.
Sean lived for 11 days in the Neuro ICU at Wake Med. I lived in the ICU waiting room during that time. I could not leave Sean even though he was sedated and not fully conscious. Several late nights or very early mornings his nurse came to the waiting room to ask me to come sing to him. This seemed to calm him and get the blood pressure and ICP where it needed to be. I sang lullaby's and songs that he knew from his early childhood. As I sang, I visualized holding him and rocking him.
There were times when I felt he communicated with me: "I hurt", "I am so thirsty", "I am tired." After 11 days, Sean died of infection. How ironic that the wounds that seemed the threat, were healing and he died of infection. In this miracle age of medicine in one of the finest trauma facilities around, Sean died of infection.
I miss him all day every day, but the relationship he developed with Daniel and my surviving Daniel's death and what I learn and continue to learn from him, have been a comfort. We all feel their presence and know they are still a part of our journey.
It took me two years to hear the answer to my angry cries to "God." "You put in my heart and soul that my baby would live", I cried. Everything I had come to know and believe seemed destroyed. Finally, in the shower one day (there is something about water, isn't there?) I was doing my same crying and I finally heard God's answer: "Your son did live but you are not satisfied with his life. He lived 7 days. That is the time he needed to complete his mission. Your time is not My time."
With everything that happened with our family and what Sean's illness facilitated, I hear the same message. This time it is Sean's voice. "Mom I finally completed what I was sent to do."
Having had a death experience of my own when Daniel was delivered, I know we have much choice in whether or not we cross over. Sean chose to go. I have to give him the freedom to do that just as I had to give Daniel the freedom to leave and become more.
Nothing diminishes my sense of loss and wishing my boys back. My first-born son and my last-born son. It is hard to allow our children to choose their own time and place to evolve.
Maybe I have two sons on the other side because I have a hard time hearing and allowing my life to evolve without my having control. It is a hard position in which to find peace after living with an abusive husband.
The shoulder injury that I sustained while working evolved into nerve damage after surgery. The pain has been debilitating, and removed me further from having any control. I have to rely on much assistance. At the time I had surgery, I was moving to Rockville, VA from the Glen Allen area. I know this is all part of the plan for my life. I am surrounded by the beauty of this earth every day.
Know I love you and your beautiful family. All of you. What a power for good little Theo is.
I have made a donation to Comfort Zone Camp in memory of our boys.
Thank you Helen--your story touches me more than you can know.