Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Your Honor, Ethan.

The other week I sat down, trying to think of what to say at an upcoming remembrance service at The Brigham and Women's NICU.  We chose not to have a funeral for you Ethan, as I did not think I could handle a public service at that time.  So when I sat down to write something meaningful, yet brief, to share at this NICU service...I realized that I was writing a eulogy.  A eulogy for my son, my baby boy.  No parent should ever have to do this.  Yet, here it is...

There are no adequate words here my sweet boy.  No words can embody the love I have for you, or the pain your absence brings.  They are reflective, you see.  The depth of my pain mirrors the depth of my love for you.

We had four beautiful and terrifying days with you here in the NICU.  I held you just once Ethan, the best and hardest moment of my life.  The power your life had in four short days continues to shape me, your family and countless others for the better.

Caroline senses your presence and speaks of you often.  Do you hear Jackson yell hello to you?  He does so when you visit us as a butterfly.  Ryan likes to stop in the stairwell and look at your pictures each time we walk by them.  Thank you for making Ryan a big brother.

You are our fourth, and last, child.  On loan from God.  I know you looked just like Caroline.  Slept with your arms above your head, like she did, refusing to be swaddled.  You had the same nose as Ryan, Jackson and Caroline.  Were going to be even bigger than your brothers - 10lbs if you had made it to full term.  You liked to hold your dad's finger and to hear me sing lullabies, as your vitals would stabilize when we did.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross once said..."The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen."

Thank you for making me a beautiful person.  Ethan Michael Gray, you will always be my son.  And I will always be a  mother of 4.  Thank you for that.