Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged, understood.

Many thanks to artist Stephanie Sicore for allowing us to feature her little bird in our banner.

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Invisible Shadows

Silas’s invisible shadow leaves markers of emotion on the milestones of Zephyr’s life.  From birth to smile to first steps to sentences, I revel in Zeph’s vibrant growth overflowing with life, yet I feel the silent echo of our lost son’s nonexistent experiences reverberating through the house, Lu’s eyes, my soul.

Everyone sees Zeph as an only child.  That’s what he is in every obvious way.  But I cannot help wondering how different his life and personality would have been if Silas were here as his older brother.  That it is impossible to fathom how that fundamental variation would have transformed all of our lives is slightly maddening.  I try to picture it and vanish down the vortex of endless possibilities.

I dread the moment Zephyr realizes or is told about the friend and brother he should have had.  That sadness is a shadow on my every gesture and thought, and I hate that he will learn, someday, what he doesn’t have.

At night as I lay in bed, sometimes the pipes start to knock as they heat up and warm the house.  First it’s soft and light, then louder and more solid.  The knocks are intermittent but consistent and when they wake me up in the middle of the night and I lay there listening, anticipating, waiting for each next knock, I can’t help but think about the soft gray ashes in the drawer next to my bed, next to my head that are all that is left of Silas’s corporeal body and although I don’t believe in ghosts or hauntings or maybe even the afterlife at all, I can’t help but hear his shadow knocking on my soul, knocking softly every day and night, knocking softly on my heart.

I see his fleet shadow flying around the corner when I walk with Zeph down the block.  Silas is already ahead, already gone, but I’ve got to keep this little guy’s hand in mine as we amble along, going slow like only a two year old can do.


Do you have moments when you feel your lost child closely?  Is it a sound or a place or state of mind?  If you were fortunate enough to have children after your lost child, what was it like to explain to them what happened?  How do you deal with the what-ifs & should-have-beens?

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Reader Comments (3)

So beautiful. Thank you.
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristyn
I really identified with this and I'm only 7 weeks out from losing my daughter. I feel my daughter nearby at times and it is usually when I'm in nature. I doesnt make any sense to my logical brain but I dont care.
We ran away from Christmas and went on a holiday we couldnt afford all the exotic animals and birds made me feel close to her. Particularly when iI was alone and birds came onto our balcony.I wish I felt her more often and I'm scared it will stop soon. On the morning of my induction a robin sat on our path as we walked to the car - sounds crazy but I felt it was her telling us we would be ok. I don't know why. Ever since she died 2 parakeets keep sitting in the tree outside our bedroom window and we look at each other. It helps for a tiny moment, that and thinking that we may have a future family. Your children are beautiful Chris - saw the gorgeous picture of Zephyr by Silas's tree on the blog - my husband and I took a lot of comfort from that.
thanks from a babylost internet stranger x
January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeren
I see my kids everywhere. We have so many ways that we symbolize them, that it's easy to see them often. I think, because of this, that it's the moments when I have no signs from them that hit me hardest and deepest.

As for explaining to our rainbow about his other siblings, well, we've been talking about them since our rainbow's birth. Gus learned his siblings' names while growing up. We talk often about them and how they're symbolized. Gus knows why we light the candles (when we're missing our angel kids) that sometimes he asks to light them because he misses them, too. I think because we've incorporated our other kids into his life, answering Gus' questions isn't one HUGE conversation...it's little conversations that are easier for me to handle.
January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianna

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