Regrets (in memory of Will)

My baby son, Will, went to heaven on this night six years ago.  I wrote about him and his life and his death last year.  If you thought that this blog was only about being a widow and a single mama, well, that’s only part of the story.

I think about Will in my dreams.  He doesn’t often surface anymore.  We didn’t have a video camera and digital cameras weren’t the norm when he was tiny.  I can’t remember his cries or his babbles.  Is that terrible? 

I have so many regrets about my son.  So, so many.  I can’t even count them. 

I know people who have as their life motto that they “live life without regrets.”  Gee, must be nice.

This is the part where I list my regrets.  Starting with wanting to not be pregnant anymore (even though, clearly, that was the only safe place for him) and ending with not buying the stupid video camera.  I would give any amount of money for the girls to see and hear their brother in action. 

I also regret not reaching out to others who have lost a child.  When he died, the hospital sent us a brochure for the “Miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss support group”.  I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t see past my own hurts to be with others.  I still don’t understand why anyone would want me, who buried an 11 month old, to attend a meeting with folks all broken up over a miscarriage.  That’s not to say that it’s not traumatic.  If that’s the worst that will ever happen to you.  But my son was living, breathing, eating, smiling, noisy and cuddly. 

I don’t know what I’m trying to say.  I’m so, so tired.  And I think that, for today, I’m just out of tears. 

I guess that there is no comparison to losing a child.  None at all. 

He was our future.  And we left him at the Emergency Room.  Wrapped tightly in a blanket to keep him warm for just a little while longer.  And we walked out, Stephen and I, hand in hand, shortly after dawn.  A beautiful, fall day.

And I was the one with regrets.

I regretted that it wasn’t me.  I wanted to trade places with my baby. 

I would have given anything in the world to give him a future. 

Right after Stephen was diagnosed, we talked long and hard about what we thought we should do.  About his treatment and his illness and about the girls.  Knowing full well what the outcome would be.  I said “Maybe you’re supposed to go and be with our son….and I’m supposed to stay here with our girls…and someday…we can all be together again.”

And right after Stephen died, I took comfort in knowing that he was with Will…rocking him…walking with him…teaching him to fish and how to make a fire without matches.  It still comforts me.

And yet, the regrets keep coming back.  I can’t help myself.

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8 thoughts on “Regrets (in memory of Will)

  1. Jenn… it doesn’t matter when, or how, or who… every time we lose someone we love, we have regrets. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and doesn’t suck, and that it won’t prey on our minds, but it ‘is.’ I have huge regrets regarding the deaths of both my parents.
    Hugs to you and the girls, and kisses sent out into the Universe for Will and Stephen.

  2. I’m sorry. I lifetime of ‘I’m sorry’s’ won’t touch how sorry I am.

    Thinking of Will and Stephen and picturing them flyfishing. I don’t know why, but that’s where I see them.

  3. Sending you a HUGE hug from Little Rock!!!!
    I too think of Will often. Sucha sweet little boy. I am so grateful to you and Stephen for thinking of me to be his godfather. I am so honored and blessed to have had him and you both in my life. To have danced in the limelight for only a little while, to hold him and to coo with him…moments I would never trade for the entire world!
    I think deep down, Jenn, we all have regrets. And it is ok to have them. It is in how we take that next step towards new goals, looking back but trying so hard to not live in the regret. You can get mired down in regret and it is hurtful to your heart and soul. Never second guess what might have been and live for the here and now.
    I agree with you on the fact that Stephen’s time was meant to be with Will, making sure he knew his next steps. He needed a buddy to hold his hand and walk him through the here after. As much as it sucks for us, and it sucks BAD, I take great solace in knowing that they are both there cheering each other on as well as looking out for those of us left here for a little while longer.
    I love and adore you and miss you like crazy!!
    Sending you positive thoughts and prayers from your Southern boy!!
    B

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