Monday, January 13, 2014

The third bright star in the sky

I have been struggling with the "right" words to say to one of my girlfriends, as earlier this week she lost her 5 week old baby to a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I have seen countless posts on her Facebook wall about people thinking about her, praying for her, grieving for her...and every time I sit down to try and post something to let her know she has been on my mind nonstop for the past 72 hours, I have nothing. Not one word seems right, not one sentence seems good enough. How do you possibly express to someone the level of sympathy you have for them when their baby dies?

I have cried at least twice a day, every day, since I learned that Greyson had passed away. I can't think of anything worse in the world than a baby dying; how does that even happen? I have found myself thinking about him at random times throughout the day, and everything Shelly posts on Facebook brings tears to my eyes. It just isn't fair and is completely devastating.

Finally this morning it occured to me, I will never have the right words. I will never be able to say the right thing, nothing I type on a Facebook post will make her feel any better. All that I can really do is offer her my heartfelt message that I have not stopped thinking about her or her family. Because the reality is, nothing anyone says will make anything better. She lost her baby. Her son. The first child she has ever had, the first source of unconditional love she has ever experienced. Nothing I say, nothing I type, nothing I have running through my head will heal that.

And yet, when I lost my grandparents, I was able to find a little comfort in knowing that my friends were thinking about me and wishing me well, despite their inability to heal any of my heartache. So I know that while I can't make my friend feel any better, and while I can't remove any of her pain, that I need to say something so she knows I have thought of almost nothing else in the past 3 days.

The strength and the class that Shelly has shown over the past several days are truly inspiring. There is no way for me to understand or grasp the level of grief she is experiencing, and yet her posts online have remained positive, speaking of the love she has had - and will forever have - for her baby boy, expressing the gratitude she feels towards her family and friends who are supporting her, bringing her food, making her smile, and just in general speaking of love and happy moments with the baby who was taken from her after only a few short weeks. She has posted photos and videos and has continued to be thankful, grateful, and uplifting in a time where surely she is nothing more than broken. I am inspired and also heartbroken with everything she posts.

Greyson was a beautiful baby, with huge eyes and the most adorable little double chin. He was born with a knot in his umbilical cord and spent his first days in NICU, and continued to put up a fight for the next 5 weeks. And yet in so many photos, he looks happy, peaceful, healthy and strong. I have seen photos of his ten perfect baby fingers and adorable baby toes, and have seen pictures of happy family moments shared between him, his mom and dad, his uncles, his family who will love him forever. He was a lucky baby to have been born to a mother with such strength to continue to fight alongside him for his entire little life. He was lucky to have been born to a dad and two big sisters who will carry him with them for the rest of time. Greyson was a perfect, happy, beautiful baby boy, and he made an impact on countless people in only 5 weeks.

There is nothing in the world I could ever say to Shelly to take her pain away, to heal her broken heart, to fill the void in her world that will never truly fade. There is nothing I can post on Facebook, type in a blog, or send in an email to erase her genuine pain or give her any level of completeness. But what I can do, is send her my deepest sympathy, my love, and my message of shared grief, in hopes that knowing I am thinking of her may give her even the tiniest bit of comfort during a time so hard I could never comprehend it.

Thank you for sharing your baby boy with us, Shelly, and for continuing to share your grief, your pain, and your raw emotion with those of us who are reading, thinking, praying, and trying to take some of your heartache for ourselves. I know that nothing I have said has eliminated an ounce of your grief, but I do hope that knowing how many of us are holding you up does allow you to lean on us for anything you need. Your baby's story is one that has truly made a difference in my life, and I will never forget him. Sending you nothing but love and support.