Thomas was born and he lived for a day.


Then we held him as he died, and we cried...




... and afterwards, we looked and looked, and hugged him close as we continued to cry.


We saw Thomas one last time and kissed him goodbye...


... and then we buried him and we cried.



We celebrate Thomas' birthday each year, and we give him a bear.

John Paul Bear

We visit the cemetery and take along balloons and flowers...




... and I try not to cry, as we remember.

Happy 13th Birthday Thomas. We love you.

Today, I can only find a few words. And the photos are blurry but they are all we have.
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  1. Dear Sue, my heart feels your pain. My nephew left us at 4 and he would have been 18 last year. I spent a lot of time with him and his sister and had flown into Melbourne after a couple of month overseas (I spoiled them rotten as single aunts are prone to do) when it happened. He was so excited at my return that he had to come see me straight away and was tragically killed by a car on their way over. There are times like his birthday or Easter Friday (the day he so tragically left us), when the pain can pierce as freshly it was the day he passed. I wish there was something I could say to help but just know there are people who do understand and respect you honouring and grieving for your little man. You take care, Lisa

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    1. Lisa,

      I am so very sorry you lost your nephew. I guess that tragic day will always be so vivid in your memory. You lost someone so special to you. The pain and the shock at the time must have been almost unbearable. Maybe you had to deal with 'if only'...

      Sometimes what happens just doesn't make any sense, does it? But we try to accept and hope that God's plan is right even though we don't understand. I used to think that once I'd accepted God's will, the pain would cease, but it didn't. I have come to the conclusion that the pain will only be erased completely when life is over and we are reunited with our loved ones. Until then there will always be some grief that can reappear at any time.

      I often imagine that day of being reunited, that day which will be full of joy. Suffering will be over. I imagine how happy Thomas and your nephew are in God's presence. One day we will know that too.

      Lent can be such a difficult time, following Jesus on His way to Calvary, knowing what it is like to suffer ourselves. Good Friday is always such a heavy day, but for you it must be a very, very difficult day to get through. I hope you feel Jesus holding you so very close on the day of His crucifixion.

      Lisa, you have done something for me by stopping and sharing. I think there is great comfort in sharing with people who understand. We are not alone. Our feelings are not abnormal. We can grieve and be accepted. Thank you so very much for stopping and telling your own story. I am praying for you.

      God bless.

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  2. Love, hugs and prayers to you and your family today, Sue...thinking of you.

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    1. Dear Ellen,

      Thank you! I know you understand. God bless you and your family!

      Delete
  3. Colleen Ann Thomson10 November 2012 at 01:54

    Dear Sue,
    I just wanted to tell you that i always check in on your blog and share your pain in losing a son at birth. I am praying for you and your family today. Our baby boy Christopher would be 8 next Saturday. His six brothers talk about him constantly (even though he was born before most of them!) And his presence is here with us. Every year when November 1st comes along, I sort of feel like it is Christopher's month. My heart feels a little softer and my emotions get a little stronger. Even though he lived just 2 days, his life and death have made such a huge impact on my life. God bless you baby Thomas and Happy Birthday.
    Colleen Thomson (near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

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    1. Colleen.

      I sometimes feel it would be so good to get together with other mothers who have experienced neonatal death. We could sit and chat and cry and laugh together, and understand. I wish we could do that! But we can share online and I want to thank you very much for stopping and reading my stories and for sharing your own son Christopher.

      You said November is Christopher's month. I can understand that. I am glad Thomas died in November. He and Christopher don't need prayers but everyone is thinking about their departed loved ones during this month and visiting their graves, and praying. I often wonder what all the visitors to our cemetery during November think when they see Thomas' grave festooned with balloons!

      There is a church at the cemetery where Thomas is buried. It used to be a parish church but now is only used on All Souls Eve for Mass. When we go to visit Thomas on his birthday we usually find flowers or candles on his grave, left there by those who came for Mass at the beginning of November. That is always so lovely. Someone other than us cared about our baby.

      You have seven boys! You are greatly blessed. It is so lovely to hear Christopher is very much part of your family still. For the first time since Thomas died, only my four youngest daughters were able to come to the cemetery with me for his birthday. I look at their smiles in the photo. None of them remember Thomas but they all love him so much. He is definitely important to them.

      Babies are born and they die and people think we move on and forget. They weren't with us for long. But as you said, our babies have such an impart on our lives. My life was changed completely by Thomas' birth and death. Despite the pain, I am glad to be who I am today.

      Colleen, thank you so much for sharing with me and for your birthday greetings. I am praying for you and your family. I know you will remember Christopher with both joy and love and lots of sorrow on his birthday. I wish I could give you a big hug and cry with you.

      God bless you.

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  4. I am saying a prayer for you today.

    Gina

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    1. Gina,

      Thank you! It is so kind of you to stop and comment and say a prayer for us. I do appreciate it very much.

      May God bless you and your family.

      Delete
  5. All Thomas ever knew was your love! Now he is showering you with love from Heaven...

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    1. Beate,

      You have just made me cry with that beautiful thought.

      I'd been thinking about how Thomas never saw me. He was whisked away as soon as he was born and then paralysed by drugs for the day he lived. He could hear and feel but not open his eyes. So he didn't know my face, but he did know my love.

      Thank you, Beate.

      God bless!

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    2. And he knew your voice! So often in the atrium we reflect on the Good Shepherd - the sheep trust Him and know him because they know His voice - it reminds me that this is one of the first things our wee babes know about us. In a sense, we are all still in utero waiting to be born into Heaven - we know the Good Shepherd's voice as He speaks to our Hearts! May He shower you, and all who are sad, with comfort....

      Delete
    3. Beate,

      You are so right! Yes, when I stood near Thomas unable to touch him, and he was unable to see me, he could of course, hear me. He knew I was there.

      "we know the Good Shepherd's voice as He speaks to our Hearts!" I am listening...

      God bless and thank you!

      Delete
  6. Hugging you from across the waters. This is the first time Ive seen all of his pictures. He looks so beautiful in life and in death. Thank You for blessing me with this post. St. Thomas, pray for us.

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    1. Elizabeth,

      I am enjoying the hug. Thank you!

      Sometimes I wish I had better photos of Thomas. These were taken with an old camera that used film. We had only one film. I look at all the beautiful digital photos that other parents have these days, and there are times when I wish we had the same. But we do have photos which is more than some people. And I guess the blurry photos are exactly what we saw. They remind me of the tears in our eyes.

      Thank you so much for sharing Thomas' photos and making me feel so good.

      God bless you!

      Delete
  7. Hi Sue,

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family along with Thomas this month. Maybe he and Sanjay are praising God together, as well as praying for us and sending their love. Thank God He let us have those boys as a part of our families! Pax Christi...

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    1. Karla,

      I often think about Thomas in Heaven with all my friends' babies and children. Our sons are there before us, great friends with each other already. Isn't that a beautiful thought? Yes, I am so very glad God blessed us with our boys, even if they weren't here with us for as long as we'd hoped. There is great comfort sharing with friends who are in similar situations. Thank you for stopping by, Karla. I keep you in my prayers each day.

      God bless!

      Delete
  8. Aww, this brings tears to my eyes. How bitter-sweet. He is a little Saint in heaven.

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    1. Elisa,

      Bitter-sweet? This is the perfect way to describe how I feel about Thomas' birthday! Thank you so much for sharing my photos, Elisa.

      God bless you and your family!

      Delete
  9. I am so sorry to read of the loss of your sweet boy Thomas. What a blessing that you were all able to hold him and love him (physically) for a day before he left this world. Your words and pictures are a beautiful memorial and testament to the wonder of life and love, so brief (in body) here on earth yet to remain for all eternity. May God bless and comfort you always.

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    1. Kimberlee,

      Thank you for sharing Thomas' birthday post. Yes, I am so grateful for that one day we had with Thomas. It was a very painful and difficult day but I am glad we had it. Not everybody gets to hold their children as they die or take photos (even blurry ones). Yes we are blessed.

      Thank you for your kind words. I do appreciate you writing them.

      May God bless you and your family too.

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  10. I, too, have four daughters and have lost my only son. I weep with you.

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    1. Lauren,

      I am so sorry you lost your son under such tragic circumstances. We have some mutual friends and I have visited your blog a few times and read your story. Your grief is so very fresh compared to mine. But I remember and, still at times, feel the sorrow. Yes, we weep together. Mothers who have lost children understand the pain, and share each other's grief. We belong to that exclusive club where the membership is so very high.

      Your daughters are so beautiful! Our children are a blessing and they give us the motivation to keep going and to keep looking for the beauty and the good things in life, despite the pain.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and stopping to share. I appreciate it.

      May God bless you and your family.

      Delete

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