Well the bad thing about Rylan's birthday anniversary, is that the following day is the anniversary of his death. It has been a long 3 years over which he has pretty much consumed my thoughts. Having lost him as a baby, you face constant reminders... with every passing month, you think about how big he would be then... and of what milestone he would be approaching, but now he will not. When you lose a child, you are losing all of the dreams that you have for him or her. It is the worst imaginable pain possible. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (even though i don't think i have a worst enemy :o). But by far, it was worse than all of my cancer experiences combined. Physical pain is one thing, but emotional pain for me was worse. How do you heal a broken heart.
Losing a child is also a lonely place to be. People are uncomfortable, so they avoid you.
Or people mean well, but they say the wrong thing - like you can always adopt.
And then there are people who don't know what to say, so they don't say anything.
And people that don't say anything either because they think it will upset you.
And it's a lonely place to be, because time moves on and people move on... even though you have not. It continues to consume your thoughts. In the end, the pain does not go away, you just grow numb to it.
The more I thought about it, I felt the only way to express the pain that I felt is to share some excerpts from my old journal... even though it makes me feel more vulnerable and they may be a little too depressing... Some are a little redundant. And some include some words in Spanish, so I'll try to include the translation.
late april or early may 2010
Rylan Cruz Dorantes Haffner
I hope you know how much I love you. I'm sorry if we didn't have the time to show you.
I rub my belly like i used to- before out of joy with you inside, now because of the pain and emptiness. I'm still trying to come to grips with why i would be so blessed with you as a true miracle if you were only going to be taken away so soon. But then again I feel so guilty for even having that thought. For I am so blessed to have had you if even for such a little time. I hope you know that I fought for you, as I know you fought for me.
I love you so much. I never want to forget the feeling... of feeling so fulfilled and that nothing else mattered since I had you inside me. A total calmness and feeling of peace.
late april or early may 2010
I love you Rylan. You were such a miracle to me and everyone. I think that's what makes it harder to grasp that you are gone. Or perhaps that is why you could not stay.
We buried you with some special things - in a little Angel outfit that Karin & Vinnie bought. Pictures of us together. Mary Frances mass card, so she can take care of you in heaven. Lily of the Valley- tu bisabuela's (your great grandmom's) favorite flower. A rosary from your abuelita (you grandma), A special blanket that Karin was making for Nicholas... He would have been your best friend.
Father Sam also did your service, mijo (my son). In a weird way, he was responsible for you. Yes, un padre - que escandaloso (Yes, a priest - how scandalous). See he picked me for Project Mexico - well he prayed with Christine to pick the best people to go. Then I went to Mexico and fell in love with it - causing me to return to NPH - where I fell in love with your daddy - pretty much immediately...
Happy Mother's Day to me! I love you, Rylan. I like to wear my matching duckie hospital bracelet at night - the one that says Baby Boy of Lisa Haffner - the one that proves I was a mommy- your mommy- the one that we both wore at the same point in time once when you were still alive here with me, little one. Mijo, I've also been trying to account for everyday that I was pregnant - when we were together. Like the last movie I saw with daddy was brothers. Where I went this day - what we did that day. Ayy, mijo. I'm so sorry. Ojala que no te hube fallacido. I hope that I did not fail you)...
I love you Rylan Cruz.
Today marks one month from when you left me. Although I may not have written, I think of you everyday. I love looking at your photos and seeing how beautiful you are. I wish I could just understand why, but I don't think I ever will. I lite a candle for you today with the image of La Virgin de Guadalupe. Ironically, she is the same one that I prayed to for me to be pregnant. She too knows what it's like to loose something so precious - her baby boy. But at least she had 30 something years with Jesus. Oh Rylan, I just don't know. What I do know is that your mommy- o mejor mamá- loves you to pieces. God bless you, little one. I'm sending you kisses to heaven. Besos.
I love you Rylan Cruz!
I've been questioning God all along when I should have been thanking him all along... for blessing me with you.
18- june- 10
I love you Rylan Cruz!
Time does not heal all wounds - for I ache for you today just as i did when you passed almost two months ago. Whoever said that is a big fat menso (idiot). But I would never teach you that word should you be here with me. You brought me so much fulfillment, mijo. Nothing else mattered when you were with me, in me. Nothing else mattered because I had you. The world was beautiful and everything in it was likewise. ..
Going back to work was harder than I expected. Let's see...I cried to Nicole and Brigid when Brigid gave me nursing report first thing in the morning. I cried to Carolyn and then Jess when I shared our story. I cried to Ricka from just a hug. I cried to Jeana as I merely walked by the front desk and made eye contact. And I cried to someone else, but I can't remember who. But all the time, I cried inside- crying for you.
I've been avoiding this (writing)- only because it hurts so much. Truthfully, I've been consumed by you. I miss you so much. I don't even know what to write because I feel so empty.
What kind of a life is it when you wake up only waiting for night to come? And I hate myself for even saying that.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Cause he took my sunshine away.
Remember when I sang that to you in my belly (of course, I've now had to alter the last line). Well, I was going to sing it to you all the time... in fact, you would probably be sick of the song by now. I love you so much little one. I haven't written because I'm utterly depressed. It's so hard without you...
I'll never forget how I could always feel your little noggin in my belly. I loved it! Some woman whispered to me in the hospital that you were gone. She had a sweet voice, and she told me - from one mother to another- they tried everything they could to save you. It's okay, mijo, if you had to go. I am just selfish and want you to myself forever. Apparently, someone is too beautiful for Earth :o). That's you, you little stinker...
...Ayy mijo. I just read all my previous entries. I guess I am in a better place, but the pain will always be there. Also, my newest explanation, is that God sent us to you - I mean you to us - duh! For I always wanted to give daddy a son even though I could not and likewise for me to be a mom. He showed us true love. And yes, you were and still are our miracle, but you were not ours to keep. Bonnie once told me that God only lends us our children. But we just got stuck with the worst return policy, right. I love you, baby.
Please watch over Claire Emma, ok. Besos al cielo, mami (kisses to heaven love mommy).
Today I visited Jackie's little baby girl: Claire Emma... She is beautiful, but she is also very sick...I'm very scared for her. Please continue to watch over her.
Of course, all this, along with everything else brought my thoughts back to you. I was thinking of how losing you is not only painful, but it's also a very lonely place. No one knows what it's like- just daddy. And even his experience is different from mine. I also purchased a bunch of books on loss - perhaps searching for some explanation. Truthfully, I've barely cracked them open, yet they bring me comfort to know they're there. Or more so, to know I am not alone in my pain.
If I've learned anything about loss, it's that there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. And everyone grieves at their own pace. Now that it's been 3 years, I'm definitely in a better place. I personally love talking about him- it allows his memory to live on. "The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears."
Now I like to think he was born and went to heaven to watch over me as I face my recent diagnosis. Lord knows I know I need all the help that I can get. :o)
When God calls little children to dwell with him above.
We mortals sometimes question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child,
who does so much to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold.
So He picks a rosebud before he can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, and so he takes but a few
to make the land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult still somehow we must try,
the saddest word mankind knows will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind
must realize God loves children, Angels are hard to find.
~unsure of author
I've always liked the following saying too:
We thought we were having a baby, but we had an angel instead :o).
thanks for allowing me to share my story.