Today would have been different. The girls would have been at my sister-in-law’s, and I would have been at the hospital to get induced. I would have been holding our sweet baby boy sometime today.
This has been a really difficult experience. Some days I feel like I can be happy and handle normal life, but then other days I wake up feeling so sad about what could have been. Emotionally and psychologically we had accepted another person in our family, and it’s strange how sometimes I feel like someone is missing even when everyone is here.
I’ve tried to figure out the best ways to cope. Reading about similar experiences from other bereaved parents has been touching; it makes me feel like I’m not alone in my feelings. Sometimes I snuggle with Goodwin’s elephant rattle and cry. Other days I look at his pictures so I can feel close to him.
There is a quote from Joseph Smith that really comforts me.
The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.
Last Saturday we had Goodwin’s graveside service. I was really touched by the prayers and Eldon’s dedication of the grave. The part that meant the most to me was when Eldon prayed that we could feel gratitude and have eyes to see that we have been given more than has been taken away. I hope someday I can feel this way and understand God’s will. I was also extremely touched when Ellie went up to “Baby Bruh-her” and stared at him reverently after the final prayer.
The girls have been a real source of comfort. They have surprised me with their faith and perspective. These are some of my cherished moments.
- The day before he was buried, Eldon was talking to Sophie about how Goodwin would be buried in the outfit she picked. She liked the idea that he would always be in her outfit. Then she said, “It’s kind of like he’s asleep. It’s kind of like the box is his crib and he’s at home.”
- Another day, I was talking to Sophie about how even though we can’t see Goodwin he still exists, just like we couldn’t see him in my tummy but he was there. I told her that I wanted everyone to still talk about him and that she could still draw pictures of him and include him in her prayers. She remarked, “I bet it will make Baby Brother happy that we talk about him and not just about us.”
- After the graveside service, Ellie dropped some flowers into his casket. We decided to keep them there. One night Sophie prayed, “Please bless little Goodwin that he’ll always be able to snuggle with Ellie’s flowers.”
- Yesterday I asked Sophie if she was sad that Baby Brother wasn’t here. She said, “No, I’m not sad because he’s still in our family.”
- Yesterday Eldon asked Ellie, “Where is Baby Brother?” She remarked, “At Jesus’ house – with Jesus.”
Today we carved a pumpkin for Goodwin and plan to take it to his grave. My foremost desire is to include him in our daily activities so we can always keep him in our hearts.