It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, grief or no grief, we all do it from time to time. We focus on ourselves and forget that we are not the center of the universe and that there are others around us who are going through big life stuff too. Sometimes, we are given a moment of clarity, and we realize that life’s problems are all about how you look at them. We can change our hearts and our minds if we just change our perspective.
Recently, I’ve been having a lot of those “change my perspective” kind of moments.
So everyone knows that the Royal baby was born recently. Go ahead and ask me how much I cared about that one…
Truthfully when William and Kate announced they were expecting I was a little bit excited. I mean they got married the same year as Patrick and I, and now they were welcoming their first baby the same year as us too. I thought it would be a cute anecdote for the baby book. Well, the baby book is packed away in a box in the basement so my excitement over the newest Prince was pretty much non-existent. And yet, at the same time, I thought back to the loss that Prince William had endured. Having his mother die so tragically…I can’t imagine what he has suffered through. My heart softened as I realized that we each have to endure our own set of obstacles along life’s journey.
Still, the talk of the new baby boy was really more than I was ready for. So a couple weeks ago, after hearing about nothing but Prince George, I was ready for a night out. Patrick and I went out to dinner. It was nice and I was enjoying our time just relaxing after an emotionally stressful week. Then it happened. They sat the table next to us. A little boy celebrating his 4th birthday. Fine, no big deal, at least it’s not a baby. Then the family starts talking. Apparently Uncle Josh is there to help celebrate… I swear they must have said “Josh” every couple minutes. My heart ached every time I heard it. I glanced over at their table, trying to see who they were calling Josh, and then I saw it. The young boy’s grandpa was wearing a t-shirt that read, “I believe in angels. My grandson is one.” It was complete with two little blue baby footprints surrounded by wings and a halo. That’s when my eyes filled with tears and my heart began to hurt for them, for us, for everyone that has walked this road. I was pretty much just done for the night at this point. So we paid our check and headed to our car.
As we were leaving, we see “Uncle Josh” standing outside talking to his wife (I assume) who is in the car nursing their small baby. I was in tears before I could leave the parking lot. It was all just too much. Even as I’m writing this, it seems ridiculous. The odds of ALL of that happening together are just extreme. We went home feeling more than a little defeated.
Feelings of anger and jealousy are so often mixed in with the grief – it’s a lot to work through. Then there are nights, like Friday, where the bitter jealousy starts creeping in, watching a young family celebrate a child’s birthday – a reminder of one more thing we will never do with Josh, but then my heart softens immediately realizing that this family has been touched by the loss of a child too. I quickly remember that it is impossible to know everyone’s story. That happy family you see, they might just be missing a few members. That couple that gives you a look when your baby starts crying, it might just be because they would give anything to hear their own child cry.