Today I went to brunch with an old friend/coworker. We hadn’t seen each other in years so this is the first time she has seen me “post relationship with a psychopath”. She had worked with me when I used to be a teacher, so she knew how passionate I have always been about advocating for children. We spent most of the afternoon talking about our children. I told her about my Prince.
As I told my friend my story in more detail and cried to her about the last moments I spent with my son, she began to tear up as well. I learned today that my friend has lost two children. Her first child passed away only one month before she was set to give birth. She had been in a car accident and the baby died in vetro. She continued to carry the baby to term and chose to hold her baby one time before the baby was taken away and later buried. She went on to have a son, who died when he was only seven years old from complications/doctor negligence after a routinely scheduled surgery went horribly wrong.
Since Prince passed away, I have heard many stories from others about tramatic episodes in their life. Most people, when they tell me what they are going through (or have gone through) immediately say, “Oh, but now I feel stupid. I know that my pain is not nearly as bad as what you are experiencing.” Just today, I shared my son’s pictures with my friend’s mother and aunt. When I left the room (and they believed I was out of ear shot), one of them said, “Wow…just when you think your life stinks or is going bad – you hear a story like that.”
Pain is not something that can be compared. My situation is no better or worse than yours – only different.
The day I buried Prince, I drove back to the gravesite alone as my family and friends gathered at my parents house. I stood next to the grave and cried for what seemed like hours. Since Prince is buried in the children’s section of the cemetary, I decided to walk around and learn about the other children who had been buried next to him. Most of the children were newborn, some of them were close to Prince’s age, and some a bit older than him. I tried to imagine how the other’s died and if their parents felt the same way I felt when they had buried their children.
Looking at the stones of the children who had died on their birthdays or a few days later, I felt a deep sadness for their parents. I, too, could have lost Prince before I had ever met him. Undoubtedly those children made an impact on their parents even if only for a short time; however, I had been blessed to spend 15.5 months (not even counting the time he spent in vetro) with my little angel. Some would say my situation is worse than those other parents because of the circumstances surrounding my son’s death. I don’t believe my situation is worse – it’s just different.
The pain that I feel is not measurable and it is not comparable nor is the pain that other parents experience every day. Our children are in crisis. There are many other parents who are still trying to protect their children and prevent this “worse case scenario” from happening. There are many others for whom this has already happened.
I know that I am not the first, I am not the only, and I will likely not be the last.
I grieve for my Prince and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. In my grief for my son, I will also grieve for the other children who need protection – the parents who continue to fight for these children, and for those whom have already lost their battles.