When I was younger, I think around five years of age, I remember looking up at our mantel and glancing at our family photos. I came to a photo of a baby boy that I have never seen before. My Mother came in the room and asked what I was doing. I inquired about the photo, to which she said, “That’s your brother Josiah.” Now, I have never met my brother Josiah and wasn’t quite sure of whom she was speaking of.
“Where is he?” I asked
My Mother picked up the frame which held the photo of my brother. While staring into the photo she took a big inhale and said, “He is in Heaven. He died about three days after he was born.”
I started to cry when I heard this news. “But, I never got to meet him.”
My Mother consoled me and held me. “Your father and I thought we were going to stop having children after your brother was born. But when he died, we decided we loved children so much and wanted to have more. If you’re brother didn’t die, you would have never been born. Your brother died so you and your sisters could live.”
My heart soared. While my brothers that were alive were torturing me, my other brother loved me enough to die for me. He became my own personal angel and hero and I prayed to him daily.
Some years past and I found myself at Holy Family, which was a Catholic private school. I was in second or third grade and the nun had just finished reading from the bible and was beginning her explanation on the text. “Now, Jesus is the only person to die for someone else.”
I immediately stood up in class and shouted, “That’s not true! My brother died for me and my sisters so we could be born.”
That outburst earned me a few detentions and private lunches with the principal. I didn’t care though, I knew I was right and that nun was wrong. Luckily, my Mother agreed with me and I didn’t get into trouble at home. She just laughed and said, “You are so right.”
This is my own little story of a loss within my family. Everyone on this planet has lost someone. I have always agreed with the saying that losing a child is the worst thing a parent can go through. Parents are supposed to go before the child, not the other way around. My Mother always said to me, “You never get over losing a child, you just learn to live with it.”
My heart goes out to anyone trying to heal from a loss. It’s always good to not dwell on the bad but focus on the good they brought into your life. Hopefully, someday, the days won’t seem as long and happiness will find you again.