Hey there – son. I’ve always wanted to write this, a letter to you. But you know, there’s not really any proof that you ever existed.
You would have been my first born. A son. Me, the father of three girls, with a son.
So many bloggers write about children they physically met, or physically carried, children who spent so little time on this earth and were called home. They’re angels, with names, with faces. You were a dream.
You were a deep feeling of sadness in the middle of the night.
You were the son I never had, and might not have ever existed. Because so many have lost children so much bigger than you, with names and nurseries made, I felt bad about thinking about you, much less writing about you.
But, for a moment, in your dad’s heart, you did exist.
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I dreamed about you, so early after your mom and I decided it was time to start a family. So early on, your mom was late. I was convinced it meant you’d been created. And that’s when the dreams began.
I saw your face, happy, but, different. A wide, happy smile. Spikey hair. And … special needs. You were so clear to me, so beautiful. And you needed us. We needed you.
There were probably only two dreams, maybe three, but each time, this is how I saw you. And on the cusp of becoming a father, I felt … ready. I saw myself on the floor with you, Holding you. Talking to you and teaching you. And learning from you.
Part of me had already started. Only days later, when your mom woke up in the middle of the night, I had to say goodbye.
I don’t know if you ever existed. But when she woke up, came back to bed and said “I got it,” I knew what it meant. It meant she wasn’t pregnant. Even if it felt to me like she was.
Maybe you were here for a moment, and something went wrong. So, you stayed home. And so in that space between sleep and consciousness, I told you goodbye.
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So many friends deal with more than a semi-conscious sadness like your dad did.
I don’t know if you existed, on a technical, cellular level. You existed in my heart. And soon after that night, your mom went weeks and didn’t get “it,” and there were pregnancy tests and jubilation and calls to future grandparents, and in the elation of our Elise coming into this world, I didn’t dream of you anymore.
Elise filled our hearts. Then Marie came, and Grace, too. Your little sisters. And the thought of not having Elise, then Marie, then Grace, is unfathomable to me. But, if you had come into this world … Elise never would have. I couldn’t have known.
How can you mourn a child you never had?
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All this is true Tyson, and life is so full now with your sisters. But every time I read someone’s blog about a child lost, a child remembered forever, I think of you. Automatically.
And that’s all the proof I need.