Two days later, nothing feels better. The grief comes in waves - one minute you're fine, the next you're seeing a sympathetic email and bawling your eyes out.
This song (Flaming Lips' "Do you Realize") helps soothe the burn for me a bit - press play if you like:
As a parent, you hope you never outlive your children and if you do you will find yourself in a lonely, desperate place. No one will feel that loss the way that you will - no one will know about the dreams dashed upon the rocks of reality, will see the nest of hopes you snuggled your child in blown away in a violent windstorm, will hear the shattering sound of your world collapsing around you.
|Looks just like Daddy.|
As the aunt of this beautiful baby boy, I know my grief will never come close to the anguish my brother and his family are feeling. I had planned to go meet him for the first time this coming weekend... and even though I am incredibly sad to have missed out on meeting him, I know this would be that much harder for me if I had held him and cuddled him like I wanted to.
|With Big Sister Serenity (who called him "her baby")|
The death of a child raises so many questions. How do you go forward? What do you tell the three older sisters who had awaited his arrival for 8 months and barely had a chance to meet him? Do you protect them from the grief you're experiencing or bring them home and spend 5 days all snuggling in the same bed? When do you clean up his things? What are you supposed to do with all these people showing up offering to help? What happens when you have to go back to living when all you want to do is crawl in a hole and cry?
There are no good answers here. The cycle of life can be abrupt and cruel and grief affects us all in different ways.
The one good thing that can come out of death is the sense of closeness and community that arises after a tragedy of this magnitude. The outpouring of support has been heartwarming and I'll admit, nearly every time I get an email saying someone has donated to Dominick's Memorial fund I burst out crying. When you lose someone I've learned it's best you pull the people you have left close to you and bear the weight of the burden together so that in time it will be bearable... Everyone wants to help SO BADLY! We all want to find a way to take away some of the pain that the family is going through and, as tritely sad and materialistic as it sounds, the only thing that can realistically be done is to help ease their financial worries while the grief cycle takes its toll. As a family with three young girls with only one parent working (and making under $20k/year) financing a cremation, the medical bills for his NICU stay and, later, a funeral gathering is a seemingly overwhelming task. However, thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and community members we've been able to raise $400 so far to help Jon and Rachel and there was a funeral parlor who generously agreed to do the cremation for only $500 (apparently the cost is usually 4 times that).
Here is a link to the PayPal donation site:
The funeral date has yet to be set, but I will post it the minute I know when it will be.
|Sleep sweet, little love. <3|
R.I.P., little man. I wish I could have held you before you went.