Sadly, this week has been one filled with grief. Yesterday, Kevin was there as his best friend, Jason, buried his 8-month-old son, Isaiah. A week from today is Koen's birthday, which is also the day of his death. Our hearts are bleeding for our friends and our own emotions have also been stirred.
Kevin, Jason, and I all graduated from the same school, and had a lot of the same friends. Many of which I have been in close contact with this week, as we are all hurting for our dear friend and his family. One of my friends wrote to me this week and articulated it so well. She said our loss of Koen is unimagineable, but the loss of Isaiah is every parents worse nightmare. So true, if you are a parent you can imagine what losing your sweet baby would be like and it truly is your worse nightmare. The mere thought of having Hackett ripped from my life is enough to make me physically ill. Our loss is more unrelateable. Typically the birth of a child is the happiest day of a parents life, not so in our situation. While our time with Koen was beautiful, it was also heart wrenching, but so sacred. It was like we were able to see heaven looking at him. We would have done anything to have just an hour or a day with Koen, but we did not. My heart hurts at the loss of any time with him, but in many ways I think the more time we had the harder it would have been to let him go. Even then, letting him go was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Koen and Isaiah's stories are so different, but I believe what they have had to endure this week and the months ahead will have similarities. The all consuming weight of grief will weigh so heavy on their chest. The decisions and things that have occurred this last week for them is unthinkable and will haunt their thoughts. Especially in the coming weeks, they won't be able to shake the events as they replay on repeat quietly in their heads. The world will become a scary place for a time. You cannot turn on the TV, the radio, go to a store, read a book, or be in a social setting without constant reminders slapping you in the face. The world moves on, but time for you stands still. Smiling or enjoying something feels like a betrayal. That intense grief is something I clung to, didn't want to let go of, and when that intense grief slowly started to slip away I wanted it back. It was a place that I still felt closest to Koen, so that is where I wanted to reside. I spent many hours just simply staring, lost in my sadness. I felt like life would stay like that forever, that the cloud would never be lifted. People try to fill the space of conversation with wise words to heal your heart. No words can be uttered that can bring any relief to your shattered heart. A hug, ear, love, and prayers is all anyone can do. I felt the need to excuse myself from social situations and gatherings, for myself, but also for others. The dark cloud seems to follow you everywhere and you can see in people's eyes that they don't know how to handle your pain. It is such a lonely place to reside. Very few can understand the enormity of your heartbreak.
Loss at this magnitude changes you at your very core. I am not the same person I was before, and never will be. My perspective has changed. Life is valuable. Life is a gift. Life should not be taken for granted. My innocence has gone, but it has been replaced with peace. Somehow the loss of my son has brought calm and peace to my life. I realize this now, looking back after a year. This peace did not come easily or quickly. My heart still grieves and hurts, but I now know what is important and what is not. So much stress comes from things that don't matter. I can let those things go now. Jason and his family have a long journey of grief ahead of them, there is no timetable, and it is something that cannot be rushed. I pray that someday down the road, even though their hearts will still ache, that they too, can find that peace.
I am Jackie.