This quote had a profound impact on me. I am comfortable talking about Koen, but have noticed that many of those close to me are not. I don't blame them, maybe that responsibility lies at my feet. Maybe I need to give them permission to say Koen's name out loud. I understand why they don't. It's uncomfortable, you don't know how it will make me feel, there is no book of etiquette to reference in these situations, and it seems so sad. Our human nature is to stay far away from what is uncomfortable and causes us sadness. We want to forget what pains us and sweep it under the rug. I get it, I truly do. For me, Koen will never be forgotten, never swept under the rug. He is one of my three boys. So to me it is painful to have him not be acknowledged. No one would dream of ignoring Hackett or Tobin's presence in my life, and my heart doesn't want Koen ignored either.
I have been more acutely aware of the uneasiness surrounding Koen since Tobin's birth. Tobin looked so much like Koen when he was born. So much. They both had an uncanny resemblence to Hackett. Such a natural and normal thing to talk about after birth is the comparison to siblings. It was comfortable for others when I talked about Tobin's similarities to Hackett, but as soon as I compared Tobin to his other older brother it was, more often than not, too much for the person I was talking to. I could see it in their body language and read their social cues, as their eyes glossed over and the subject was changed. The conversation would move forward as if I never spoke Koen's name. He is my son, my baby, and, even though it may be difficult to comprehend, he is my miracle. God has blessed me with three babies, three sons, three miracles, and I don't want any one of them to be overlooked. It's not sad for me to hear you say Koen's name, in fact, the exact opposite. It's not inappropriate for you to talk about him or ask about him. He won't come up in conversation very often, but when he does, please give me eye contact and acknowledge his life for me, please. That's all I have of him now, is his name and my memories of him. Koen. My baby, my son, my miracle. Don't be afraid.