Publisert av: For the Little Prince - Per | april 12, 2008

My Nephew: Heaven’s Newest Angel

My Nephew: Heaven’s Newest Angel

I have two families; mature young adults attending college and working

in the real world, and three little cherubs that brighten up my day and

take every bit of energy that resides in me. I love them all the same.

Each set of children tells this story in a different way, deals with it

in a different way and grieves over it in a different way. In any case,

they grieve, and I try to help them understand by telling the

‘short version’ when it is necessary.


Here is the longer version:


Years ago, we were at an intersection; my family and me. We had

waited 9 1/2 months and were so excited to greet the newest member of

our family. We didn’t know if this little baby was a boy or a girl.

All we knew is that we were going to love him. On a dark and dreary

Monday morning, our world stopped. We learned that our little

nephew, our first little cousin, our grandchild, had taken his last breath,

his heart stopped and we would have to say goodbye before we even

had a chance to say hello. It is the day that the world stopped


It is a day that a little bit of faith was chipped off of my block

and I had to work long and hard to paste it back together. It was

a day that I would like to erase from my little blackboard and a day

that really never ended. We lived that day over and over for some

time. Perhaps, it is that we were so excited about meeting this

beautiful little boy. Perhaps, it is that we knew that he would be

so sweet and kind and smart, just like his mother and father. I

remember the call; instead of birth weight and measurements,

my brother told me when he would be buried and how. My heart

stopped and I wondered how a God could take away the breath and

heart beat of a tiny little baby that his parents had waited so long for.

I gasped. I cried. I sobbed. I was angry at God, again. But, this

nightmare replayed itself over and over again in my dreams and my

nightmares. Why? And, in all of the medical tests and procedures,

there were no answers and there never will be. It was. And, we

had to accept that. Period. No hugs. No kisses. No handshakes.

No balloons. It was over- and it is a day that we could not fix and

a day that we will never forget.


While anticipating the anniversary of my nephew’s life and death,

I thought that it would get easier; that eventually I would come

to accept and to understand his life and death. While looking upon

the grief of other expectant parents, I came to understand that they,

too, came to a place where it seemed that the world stop turning.

I watched and studied these OTHER parents.


The grief changes but it never stops. Not for me. Never.


It gets ‘better’. Then, one month before ‘the anniversary of his birth, life

and death’, the grief returns; if only for a little while.


One of the sets of parents that I have watched over the years is

MY FAVORITE AUNT AND UNCLE (I have several). In the year that

God and my parents welcomed me into this world, my aunt and uncle

waited for, gave birth to and lost their beloved daughter two weeks

and two days after my birth. I now piece together their grief and

their love as they have LOVED ME and CARED FOR ME throughout the

years. I knew that there was a bond between us and over the years, I

have come to understand this special bond. I was ‘waiting’ for this little

cousin to be born, and as I waited, others waited with me. And,

when she was born and died, on that same day, a part of me died with

her. It was the hopes and dreams and the blessings and wishes

of how these two little girls would chase butterflies and would

chase rainbows and- on the day that her heart stopped beating –

a part of me grieved along with her parents. Even though I was only

two weeks and two days old. I learned that this set of AUNT and

UNCLE was very special. Over the years, I learned the painful reason

why. I was never angry or hurt by it. But, I was definitely given a gift

or a tiny little burden to bear. As they were loving me, they were

loving that beautiful little girl that died when I was two weeks and

two days old. They were missing seeing her and I chasing butterflies

and rainbows. And, I was, too.


This came out of my little can of worms today as I was reading

a book about grief and grieving by Moody and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’

next in command. I need to get the title for you. Please, wait.


We grieve over the loss of love and of life by crying and sobbing, but we

also grieve over losses by connecting some one, some thing, some

experience to ‘this loss’. And, I am there. Right this very moment.

I am grieving the loss of my nephew as I anticipate the anniversary

of his birth, his life and his death. And, it all comes galloping back to

me. I bid it to go away. The horse of death whinnies and paws

the earth. I am worn out from crying. But, the horse of death

enters ‘my pastures’ and refuses to leave. I sit and watch and

wonder, «When will this pain go away….?» And, the answer a

‘stranger’ told me is this, «We learn to live with a broken heart.»


To Kathleen and to My Nephew: I have to say goodbye and I can’t.

I visit you often in my dreams and in my prayers. I can’t say that

I regret knowing about you. I regret that I can’t say, «Goodbye».


A few months ago I came upon a story about «Benjamin» who had

died of SIDS. To be honest, I wanted to learn more about his family.

When I met them by chance, I wanted to run as fast as

I could and as far away as I could right this very moment. And, I

felt like, then too, that I was too tired to run and was grieving too

much to be able to reach out to this family. I am sorry. I am human.


Reading this story, you probably felt that feeling too. I want to go

now. Where is the ESC button? You did, didn’t you. It’s o.k.



Sandy S. Zoo


On the day that you were born:

I sang to you, baby boy,

I held you in my arms

You never opened your eyes

But, I would never let go

I would never let go of

Loving you, baby boy.

I have to believe that somehow,

somewhere, that you were listening.

You were so beautiful, baby boy.

And, I can never say, Good bye…..



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