Dear Brody

No one will ever replace you. You have a new, baby brother. He seems to be doing very well. I’m still scared sometimes. I still feel so vulnerable. And I still think about you and how you should have come home like he did. I was overwhelmed with happiness when you were born. I wish that could have lasted. I wish I could have enjoyed you in good health.

But I need to stop wishing for things to be different. I do. I need to let go of how I think life should have gone. It feels like a betrayal. I owe it to you to wish you were here for the rest of my life, don’t I? How could I possibly not wish for that? How can I stop wishing for a different story?

I’ve been watching TED Talks on the science of happiness and reading books like The Happiness Advantage and they all tell me that happiness requires making peace with your choices and accepting the things you can’t control as they are. Losing you makes that really hard.

But I have this new little human now. And I still have Bryson. And I think each of my boys, including you, wants me to be happy. Right? I feel like I need your permission. I feel like I owe you an apology for having another son and trying to move on. I’m sorry. Please know I’m not trying to forget you. I’m just trying to figure out how to keep loving you and love this new baby. Logically, this shouldn’t be difficult; I have plenty of love in my heart for both of you. But, I feel this barrier still, this fear.

We moved your urn downstairs last week. It stung. Oh kid, why did you have to end up in an urn? You are my beautiful boy. It just got to be too much to have it in our room and walk past it repeatedly everyday. We’d rather look at pictures of your smile. So we put up these teak shelves that used to belong to my grandpa and we made a Brody wall in the hall downstairs. When it was done, we all stood and looked at it together and cried. I held Jayce and looked at your happy face and cried.

We lost you and we gained this new little boy and it feels like an unsolvable riddle, like a maze I’m lost in with no solution. What was the purpose of that? Why not just keep you? And I have to make peace with not knowing. I cannot wish for it to be different. It’s not going to be different.

You are gone now and he is here and my assignment is to accept that. I want to stubbornly insist that I will not accept this, but my protest accomplishes nothing. My surrender, however, might just bring me peace. It is what it is and I have to let it be.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love you anymore. It doesn’t make me a quitter or a bad mom. It doesn’t mean I’m choosing Jayce over you.

And I really think that’s what is making this transition so painful. It’s like I’m cheating on you or betraying you in some way. You left me and I’ve gone and started a new life without you. Is that okay? Is that what this is? Ah kiddo. I don’t even know. It shouldn’t feel like such a mess, but it does.  Let’s make a way here. There is a way to peace. I have hope.

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