Sunday, September 28, 2014

Would've, Could've, Should Be...Won't.

I should be excited to shower Gavin with attention and presents and balloons and laughs tomorrow.

I should be writing a post that says things like, "Wow - what a year Gavin had!" or "Can you believe that Gavin did this this year?"
I should be obsessing about what special "birthday outfit" I should have him wear to school... or wear in Mommy's photo shoot.  Or - whether we should play "hooky" and have a "Love Bomb" day instead.

But I won't be doing any of those things.

I feel like screaming into the sky - YOU TOOK HIM TOO SOON!!!!!!!  He could have accomplished so much more.

He would have continued to have a great life.  Gavin never wanted for anything - we made sure of it.

I feel like screaming into the sky - YOU TOOK BRIAN'S BEST BUDDY!!!!!!  

My heart is torn in two daily for our sweet little boy who every night still tugs on that invisible string before going to sleep in Gavin's bed.
I can only imagine that their relationship would have changed and developed as Gavin grew.

I feel like screaming into the sky - YOU TOOK MY FIRST BORN CHILD!!!!!!  MY SON!!!!  MY BABY!!!!!
But screaming into the sky only releases my rage - much like throwing boxes in the garage.  Gavin isn't in the sky.  We believe - and teach the kids - that Heaven is everywhere.  Everywhere we are, he is.  Anytime we want to talk to him, he will be right there.  The idea of Heaven being way up in the sky is too far for me.  I can only imagine how far it feels for a child.

But even though Heaven is everywhere - it isn't close enough for me.  I long to hold him, kiss him, hold his hand and walk beside him.  
The worst things you can say to a grieving parent are "platitudes" like "He's doing everything and more in Heaven!" or "He's better off with God!" or "You'll see him again!"  Coincidentally, they are often some of the best things you can say, too.  But because you never really know where the heart of a grieving parent is at any particular moment... the best things you can say are:

"I'm so, so sorry."
"I can't imagine how you feel."
"I'm so, so sorry."

Last year was a little easier because it was closer to when he was alive.  I had an idea of what he might have been doing - what kind of progress he would have made by then.  This year?  Not so much.  I'm sadly realizing that from now on Gavin will need to remain frozen in time.  To make up in my mind what he "might" be doing at 7 years old... or 14 years old... or 20 years old... it's all too depressing.  I shouldn't have to "make it up."  I should know.

But since I don't, I have this much to go on:

Gavin would've been seven tomorrow.
He could've enjoyed a great birthday weekend and I would have made sure I got tons of balloons and musical toys.
He should be here to celebrate with us.
But he won't.

I feel too far away from our first hug.
And I feel much too far away from our last.
Seven would have looked good on you.  Happy Birthday, Bugaboo.  I miss you so much.


  1. Every post you write, your strength shines through and amazes me. I can not imagine what you must feel but I can see that you are an amazing woman and mother and I know Gavin is shining down on your family. You are in my prayers ��

  2. Kate...I'm so,so sorry. Happy 7 to your biggest boy and thank you (again) for continuing to share your family's stories with us.

  3. I'm sure Gavin would have been enjoying his baby sister. I'm so sorry for your loss. Time does not heal all wounds

  4. I'm so so sorry. Thank you for sharing. I'm so so sorry.

  5. Happy birthday, Gavin!! (I bet he misses your hugs and kisses and snuggles and his best friend brother and his new little sister)(about now I'm sure the boys would be teasing and loving on Hopey)

  6. Hugs to you on this hard day and so many more. I too lost my child all too soon and you put into words exactly how I feel every day.

  7. I am so so sorry. My heart hurts for you and I wish you a peaceful day full of love tomorrow.

  8. I'm so sorry. I'm so proud of you.

  9. Kate I'm so sorry....Gavin did die much too soon....I hate platitudes also. I lost my son a week after Gavin he would have been 25 in June. He had so much left to give and do in the world. I miss his voice, hugging him, hearing him play his guitar... The worst day ironically was New Years when I realized I would enter a new year without him. Take care of yourself. Brian and Hope are beautiful. I have two daughters....they are my lifelines! Barbara

  10. I am so so sorry. Thank you for continuing to share your story so openly here. I hate that you have to be separated from your sweet boy.

  11. You are an exceptional woman and that's why God chose you to be Gavin's mom. You are a role model to everyone. CHAPEAU!
    Best wishes from Berlin, Germany

  12. Your experience of grief is so powerfully written and I know you help each reader with each post in different ways. Thank you for your honesty. I wish I could take some pain away. Happy Birthday to Gavin- I hope in some way it provides comfort to know he will be all in our hearts on his birthday. ❤️

  13. thinking about you and your dear family Kate.

  14. Read this last night and was heartbroken for you. I'm so sorry for your loss and the things you're missing with Gavin. My heart is with you.

  15. Kate,
    My daughter turned seven yesterday. I stumbled across your blog shortly after Gavin died and have followed it faithfully ever since. You have taught me so much in the last 18 months. How to live in the moment (although I still struggle with this on a daily basis). How to help a child grieve. This came in handy this past summer when our dog died. As I listened to her barrage of questions, I thought of you and Brian, and I answered them. Over and over. Patiently. I wouldn't have known to do that without you. Later that afternoon she and I went to Build-A-Bear to use a gift certificate that had been sitting around a while. Unbeknownst to me, she picked out Hope's bear. Know that you are helping people, Kate. Thank you, for sharing your story and teaching us all in the process.

    Wendy (a PA girl at heart...born and raised in Pgh)


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