Wednesday, September 16, 2009


When I was a kid I used to wish on the first star in the night sky. If I saw a shooting star, I wished on that, too. They were generally pretty silly wishes. I clearly remember wishing for a Henrietta dog to match my Henry, an all time favorite stuffed animal. As I got older I started feeling guilty over the wishes for objects, and started wishing for things like world peace. Although, honestly, my heart wasn't completely in it. Maybe because I never did get that Henrietta dog. And as an adult I can't remember the last time I wished on a star. I don't even think I've made birthday wishes, either.

However, since Evan's death I've caught myself making wishes again. In the first several months I wished that it was all just a nightmare, and I would wake up, and my little boy would be there. I remember pouring over grief books in those early days, and thinking to myself that the Bargaining phase sounded like a lot of hooey, and I knew Evan was dead, and I couldn't ask for him back. But as the shock wore off, I found myself wishing. I asked God to undo history. I swore I would be a better person, if only I could have my son back.

Even then I knew my wish wouldn't come true. But still I wished. Some nights I just said, "I wish, I wish, I wish..." never completing my request. The wishes became qualified. "I wish I had Evan back, but never touched by meningitis." And more recently, "I wish I had Evan back with no meningitis history, and I wish we had decided to have a third child, and had Miranda."

Because really, Miranda is Evan's gift to us. When Duncan came screaming (loudly) into the world, we thought we were done. I told my doctor, "I never want to be pregnant again." When we lost Evan just six months after Duncan's arrival, Justin and I both decided for one more. And when I get around to getting Miranda's opening page done in her scrapbook, I have a stamp that I believe fits the occasion: "I made a wish and you came true."

I'm not sure that I'll ever stop wishing to have Evan back. Maybe the wishes will turn into hopes that I will one day see him again.

Death Is Nothing At All
by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Tears Could Build A Stairway

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane
We would walk right up to Heaven
And bring you back again

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why

Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No on will ever know

But know we know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store

Since you’ll never be forgotten
We pledge to you today
A hallowed place within our hearts
Is where you’ll always stay

Author Unknown