I have heard of people losing children through out my adult life. I would hear of people on the news who lost all of their children in a fire. People who lose children in car accidents or drownings. I would get the papers from St. Jude in the mail and read of the battles children had with cancer. I would read about people who lost their babies through SIDS, stillbirth, or miscarriage. I would hear people talk about someone they know who knows someone whose child died from something horrible.
But in all these things it never really hit home. I felt bad for these people. Hurt for them in the moment and maybe even cried for them.
But in the end I went on with my life. I went back to being normal. With my family still intact and while I truly hurt for those people in the moment it didn’t really affect my life for the long-term.
I heard about people losing children and assumed that it would never happen to me. It just couldn’t happen to me, not to our family, not to the people close to me that I love and care about. These kind of things only happen to other people, people far away that I hear about but don’t actually know.
And then it did happen. First to a close friend. Someone who I love and care about so much. Her son was diagnosed with leukemia. The first thing I did when I heard was run to the computer and look up survival statistics. The odds were in her sons favor to survive, to live a full life. I assumed that they would walk a hard road, and I planned to be there for my friend and her family the whole way, but in the end her son would be ok. But he wasn’t. Just 20 months after being diagnosed my dear friends son died from cancer.
I hated seeing my friends go through this. Hated watching them suffer. Hated that their son and my son would never chase each other around church again. That I would never see their sons bright smile again.
The reality that someone close to me could lose a child was now real. It hurt. It still hurts. And I worried. If it could happen to my friend it could happen to me. Deep down I always knew this but it was easier to think that it would never happen to someone I knew or me.
Then it happened again. Just nine months later I sat in the doctor’s office and did not hear a heart beat. My baby that I had carried was gone. I became the 1 in 800. Never in a million years did I think I would lose a child. I couldn’t handle it, so it wouldn’t happen. But it did.
Again that harsh reality that yes, this can happen to me.
And I questioned, Why? Why me? Why us? Why my family?
I could think of 100 different people who would be able to handle this better than me. Who would use something like this to inspire and change the world. Who would just be better at dealing with tragedy.
After nearly a year of thinking, Why? Why? Why? one day it suddenly hit me. Why not me?
I’m not special. Yes I am special to some people but God doesn’t love me more than anyone else. I’m not better than the person that I heard about on the news so why wouldn’t something happen to me. I’m just another person here on earth and I’m not any better than anyone else. So why not me?
While this ended the constant thoughts of why, it also brought in a new fear. If I lost one child why wouldn’t it happen again? The reality of losing a child has become all too real to me.
I worry about losing my other boys constantly. While I worried some before I worry way more now. Before I read the statistics and always assumed it would happen to someone else. Now I read them and think this could be one of my boys.
I had a panic attack Cole’s second day of school. I couldn’t breath and my heart was racing. I had to stop myself from driving to his school to make sure he was ok. That no one was there hurting the kids. Why? Because even though the chances are low that anything would happen at his school I still worry. The chances that anything would happen to Cohen were low too and they did.
Why wouldn’t something happen again?
I try not to think too much. Not to let fear rule me and my life. But thoughts sneak in. As we are in a parking lot, I can see Carson darting out in front of a car and getting hit. I can see Cole trying to be an American Ninja Warrior, jumping off of something and smashing his head. I can see them playing outside and someone driving up and taking them. I can see the baby that is growing inside me being born and never moving, never breathing.
So I try not to think. Because sometimes it’s just easier not to. To not think of the why not me?