Saying goodbye

After we released the balloons, we headed back into the funeral home. I couldn’t get to Nash fast enough. I grabbed him out of the casket, sobbing. I sat on the couch, rocking Nash with Todd at my side. The three of us alone in this big empty room. Nash had always made a room feel so full of life when he was in it. That smile, that dimple, that laugh. People saying “awww” when they saw him. Now it seemed so lonely, empty. It was the first time I felt that way since before he was born. I couldn’t stop kissing him. Looking at him. Trying to memorize every part of him. I knew this would not only be the last time we held him, but also the last time his physical body would even exist before he was taken to be cremated. I can’t put into words the absolute life-choking feeling of that moment. I felt his hands, his toes. I traced every inch of his body with my hand and then just held him close and rocked him. We told him how much we would miss him and that we would remember everything about him and how much joy he brought to us. Somehow, and to this day I don’t know how, we were able to put him back in the casket and walk away. Even now writing about this, I can’t stop crying at the thought of it. As we walked away, I got to the door and took one last look back. Nash in a casket surrounded by flowers and pictures of the three of us. The three of us in happier times. I went into a state of inconsolable grief…..

Everyone headed to the VFW for the dinner that followed. How was I going to eat dinner with all these people just minutes after holding Nash for the last time? As we walked in, I could no longer fake smiles, or even have a conversation with anyone. I just sat at a table and stared at the floor crying. I remember thinking horrible things. I remember when Nash would hit each new month and how sad I was it was going by so fast. Now it seemed like life would go on forever. How was I going to go on living knowing I would never see that smile again? Never snuggle up to him…never hold him again…never rescue him when he cried… never hear him say mommy or daddy. My mind would not shut off. Todd and my sister Melissa were trying to get me to eat. Tricia was next to me with her hand on my back. I just wanted to die. I prayed for it. Take me now because death seems a whole hell of a lot better than the life I am now left with. People were approaching me for hugs and I did nothing but sit there and stare at the floor, not talking to anyone. Todd got up grabbed my hand and took me outside. When we reached the parking lot, he turned and looked at me and said I know this is hard but these people have done a lot for us. All you have to do is get through this one last day and than you can cry and stay in bed as long as you want. He said I love you, let’s just go back in there and do this! He said it with a lot of love and sensitivity, but also a firmness, like get your shit together. It felt like one of those pep talks coaches give athletes in sports movies before they go out and win the championship. I realized then how hard it was for him to deal with his own pain when I was so visibly shaken. To this day I have to tell myself to snap out of it when I get to lost in my emotions. I managed to go back in and smile, hug people and thank them for coming. Todd smiled at me across the room while I was thanking people for coming. I could see this look in his eyes. That he was proud of me, that we could do this, but the only way we could do it was together. I felt a closeness with him in that moment I had never felt before. That he 100% was in this with me. Like it was a battle to the death and we were not going to give in with out a fight. I felt empowered. We were Nash’s parents and were forever untied in that!

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8 thoughts on “Saying goodbye

  1. I worked with your dad Dave years ago and got to know him well.
    I have been reading your story and crying tears for you.
    You have your dad’s strength and are an amazing woman!
    I know there is no comfort in your sorrow but I’m sure your dad is enjoying your previous boy.
    My heart breaks for you and I pray for your continued healing❤️🙏

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  2. thank you for sharing. you write so well and directly from your heart. i feel as if you are in my living room sharing your story. i do not know you, but i am proud of you and your husband. your strength is real and admirable. lifting you up for continued growth and peace. i always disliked hearing….’sorry for your loss’, although i do understand that statement, it sure does not feel good. so sad, but not without reason, we just do not know why some lives end too incredibly fast. thinking of you, this evening and lifting you and your husband up. i’d be hugging you, if I could.

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  3. I just want to tell you…I feel your pain. I lost a twin daughter at 18 months. She had a congenital heart defect, and had surgery at 9 months of age. She died at 18 months. I have never been so lost, or felt such a physical pain as I did then. I was numb for months, not aware of time or activity. To this day..30 years later…I am still in pain, still drop to my knees with memories of my sweet baby girl. If there is anything I can do to help you, please allow me. I get it…I’ve been there. I understand. I care…

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  4. Todd & You are Great Parents & People. You two are strong as individuals but Together I have seen Great things come from this and that Takes Wonderful People to Achieve. Having a Nash Day is Part of my Daily Routine. Bring smiles to those that Need or Just Because. Thank you For making my life better Nash.

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  5. What a gift you two have together, please don’t ever loose that. Todd sounds like a truly amazing man with a God given strength. Cherish that it is irreplaceable.

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  6. I know how your pain feel! I just lost my bavy girl in March! But, my daughter always tells,me to not cry because she is in a,much better place. She tells me to take care of her big sister. She tells me that she will always,be in my heart. And watchin over her big sister! And I know uour son is doing the same thing n telling you the same thing.

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  7. I had to say goodbye to my baby girl dec 16,2010!! It’s the hardest thing for any parent Togo through!! I wanted to take her out of her casket and hold her and not let go!! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that day!! I wish I could see my daughter grow up with her brother but I can’t! I know I will see my baby girl again but I know she is always in my heart!!

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