Friday, October 31, 2014

Invisible lion cub

Today, I rummaged through my computer files looking for photos from Halloween 2008.  It is one of the two times since Zachary's death that I have been brave enough to look at older photos, knowing they will unleash a deeper level of sorrow and regret at the old us and at all of C.T.'s ages that Zachary will never attain.  With a heavy heart and shaking hands, I located the photos.  C.T.'s precious round face, his drooly innocent smile and blue eyes, seemed to beam right out of his hooded lion costume.  I had assumed Zachary would use that costume this year.  I tearfully considered clipping out C.T. from his own photo and including the lion costume here.  But, of course, that would be wrong.  And, it is simply too sad.  The costume is not Zachary's and it never will be.  It was saved for him, but it never touched his body.  He will never use it. 

Nonetheless, Zachary would have been a lion cub today, for Halloween.  Will anyone but us feel his absence today?  Does the universe care that there should be one more lion cub?  Probably not. 

I think that's one of the more crushing aspects of losing my children when they were babies.  They are everything to me, B and C.T., and yet, they had no (or so very little) time to impact others who (should have? would have?) loved them.  That part of the hurt is so difficult to put to words.  Imagine being the mother of two beloved sons who essentially had no obvious impact on the world,... who had very little identifiable impact even on their own extended family and friends.  My love for them is the same - unconditional and everlasting.  They are always on my mind.  But, the memories "to hold on to", which Hallmark proclaims will counterbalance the devastation, are so few.  The ability of my two sons to bring joy, to change and grow and continue to surprise, is completely non-existent.  The concept of a meaningful life for Zachary and B.W., so cruelly unfulfilled.  In so many ways, and over a period of years, I had accepted that it was this way for B.W.  So, to be facing the same reality for Zachary now, just feels unbearable.  A complete and shocking mockery. 


Note: I am not saying that losing a child later in life is in any way less painful, or that any cropping short of a child's life is more tolerable for a parent.  I am sure there is much about a son or daughter's future to grieve, even for a 90 year-old bereaved mother.  But, this seems to be an extremely burdensome element of my grief, and I am having a particularly hard time coping with it after Zachary's death.  I would do anything to have had just one Halloween, just one holiday, with my Zachary. 


  1. Zachary's life has impact through your words. I know him. But I also understand what you mean about the other people not knowing them. Even though Eva died at ten months and had met several people there are so many she didn't meet. And this year I wonder what dress up she would have worn...I did have one Halloween with Eva. She was 16 days old. Much love to you mama.

  2. I hadn't thought about the aspect of how our children lose out on making an impact on others and the world; wow. Loss upon loss. But as Em said, both Zachary and B.W. have made an impact- at least for those of us reading. They are remembered, grieved, and even loved. Sending love your way...

  3. As always, your words speak to me so loudly. (i hope it's ok i linked to your post on my blog)
    Thinking of your lion cub. xxx