I was at the gym when I saw something out of the corner of my eyes. A father-son duo, working out together. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but I smiled as I watched the father give his son tips as they lifted weights. It was then that my heart sank. My husband would never have that moment with our son who passed away.
Every week, I would see the same man and his child, the high school teen learning from his father. At a quick glance it was easy to see, a special bond between the two. And every week, I would leave the gym, wondering what life would be like if our son was still alive today.
After returning home from the gym one day, I sat down on the couch next to my husband. Tears were welling up in the corner of my eyes as I looked over at a picture of our sweet little boy, who lived for nearly two months.
“Do you ever get sad that you don’t have a son who is alive?” I asked my husband.
It’s something I often wondered ever since our baby boy passed away more than seven years ago.
My husband was meant to be a father. There was something about him that kids have always be drawn to. Maybe it was that he was a big kid himself, or maybe it’s his kind heart shining through his quiet disposition.
I always pictured a special bond between my husband and our son, a father’s love for football passed down over the years. I pictured him playing catch in our backyard and teaching him to ride a bike. I imagined weekends on the couch, cheering on their favorite teams. And I dreamed of him on the sidelines, coaching our blonde little boy.
But that never happened. Instead, we are the parents of child loss, left to wonder what life would be like if our world didn’t come crashing down. That’s the reality for parents like us. There are always little reminders of what could have been.
As I wiped away the tears, my husband began to speak. “No, I don’t think about it that way,” he said. “Sure, I miss my son, but who’s to say that Parker would even like the same things I do?”
And right then and there, I felt as if a cloud of grief gently lifted from my shoulders. My husband was right. We will always feel grief for our two children who died, but we can’t control the past. My husband loves all four of his children, embracing his role as “girl dad” to our two sweet daughters here on earth.