I love to write this blog, it brings me a lot of joy. I love to share my life. Sometimes I wonder if I share too much. I have had a lot of people marvel at "how honest I am". I write this for me, but I also write this in the hopes that there is someone reading this that is going through something similar and feels a connection to what I write. It is a terrible thing to feel alone in this world, it is my hope that if someone who is feeling alone reads that another mother, another person in this world is going through the same thing, and that they are not alone. I am blessed to have a loving husband and good friends, and I know that not everyone has these things, for these people I hope that I am that friend.
I sometimes wonder if I share too much, especially when it comes to Gabe. My concern is that I make others feel uncomfortable. I write about my life. I write about my children and my struggles of motherhood, and Gabe is one of those struggles. I struggle to find the balance. My life is complicated because although it will be 8 years this December 24, I am still a grieving mother. I try to balance my living children with my dead child, never making him larger than life, never making him a martyr. I want my children to love their brother, not resent him. For those of you that I make uncomfortable, I apologize in advance, because right now is a pretty tough time for me. You will be hearing about Gabe quite a bit in the upcoming months. I write about Gabe because I feel compelled to, and also because I know that I am not the only mother who has lost a child. I want those women and men who may have no one, to know that they are not alone. I want them to know that grief fades, but never goes away, it becomes bearable.
It was yesterday that I learned of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut. I know the loss of my child, but I cannot imagine the horror that those parents must have to endure. I held Gabriel in my arms as he slipped away from this world. He never knew pain, he never knew fear, if there is a blessing in his passing, that was it. Those poor parents must feel so tortured. My heart aches for them. It is because of that terrible tragedy that I felt compelled to write today's blog instead of the one that I had planned to write today.
It was at the same time I was hearing of that tragedy that I was struggling to write Gabe's in memoriam that we print in the local newspapers every year. Hearing of that tragedy, made the my own feelings of loss wash over me. I tried to separate the strong emotions when I was writing. I was racking my brain. Do I open my heart and share the ugly pain? Do I make it short and sweet, "You will be missed". How do you sum up a child's life in just a few sentences? Here is what I came up with.....
Gabriel, you taught us how to love in ways that we had never known. You taught us that even the finality of death cannot touch the love that we feel for you. Death could take you, but never our love for you. There is not a day goes past that our hearts do not ache missing you, and yet there is not a day that goes past that we are not thankful you were in our lives, even if just for that little while. You were a blessing, you were a gift.
The real message is that I do not know why such a life full of such promise was taken, I will never know. I do know that I would not be the same person that I am today without having been Gabriel's mother. He taught me more than I could have ever in a million years ever have taught him. His death taught me to treasure every second that I have with his brother and sisters, because life is fragile. No one ever knows when death will come, we have no control over that. We do have control over how we live our lives, how we treat each other. Death can harden hearts and make people bitter, but for me it made me realize how very blessed I was. I could harden my heart or I could embrace the love around me that was offered, I chose love. If I chose to harden my heart that is me telling my living children that I loved their brother more than them, and I didn't and I don't... I love them all the same, but differently. I am not perfect, I have my bad days, I do not always speak to my children in ways that I would like to have overheard by others. I am a human, and humans are flawed creatures. All that I can do is my best.