Today my phone rang. It was the Principal of my daughter’s school. “How strange!”, I thought, “It’s Saturday.” As my mind started running through the list of reasons for her call, it was stopped short. My heart dropped into my stomach.
She apologized and told me this was a conversation she would prefer to be having in person. However, timing didn’t allow for that. It never does. So she was calling now before I read an email she would soon be sending out to all of the parents.
Her emotion spilled over as she told me that another little boy had died. My eyes immediately filled with tears. He was a former classmate of Cameron’s. A name I remember hearing. A story the school began to follow when he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease. It came as a shock to everyone.
So many parallels.
As I hung up the phone, I was overwhelmed with immense sadness. For that little boy. For his family. For his mother. She was now standing firm in the place I stood not 10 months ago. Gut wrenching grief. Only now just beginning to understand the concept of forever. Hanging on with every ounce of strength to the memory and everything that is her little boy. Asking over and over: What do I do now?
Then came the guilt. I remember when his family began their journey to diagnose. I remember hearing the final verdict. My heart hurt for them. However, the biggest piece I remember? My feeling of , “Wow! I’m so glad that’s not Cameron. I’m so glad that’s not me.”
I hated that thought. A small part of me knew karma would come back and bite me for even thinking it.
These thoughts have run through my head a handful of times since Cameron died. Mostly thinking, “This is what I get.” Telling myself that I should have felt more compassion for their situation versus focusing on how glad I was that it wasn’t my mine.
I’ve learned this is just human nature. When someone has what we want, we envy. When they have something we don’t, we are thankful it’s not us. Support and compassion get thrown out he window.
Child loss is a terrifying, mind numbing, physically painful thing to endure. The universe no longer makes sense. Your life no longer makes sense. As an outsider, you are so consumed with the feelings of gratitude that it isn’t your child.
I never thought it could happen to me. Not in a million years! This was the stuff of movies, books, and tv. It didn’t happen to people like me. But it does! It happens all the time. It happened to me. It happened to his Mom. It can happen to you.
Our situation is a reminder to everyone out there that they should cherish every moment. Live with unconditional love. Focus on what really matters most. Never lose site of your priorities. Also, know that if this unthinkable thing does happen to you, there are many of us bereaved Mom’s here to help you navigate the waters.
I know in my heart Cameron found Alex and gave him a big hug. They are once again playing together. Waiting for us.