Why Even A Shirt Can Prompt Grief Years After Losing A Child

"You never 'get over' the loss of a child, you simply learn how to live with it."

Dear Son, I thought of you today. 

I was walking through the store, looking at clothes for your sister, when this shirt caught my eye. It was size 4, the perfect fit if you were alive today.

The preppy shirt is exactly what I imagine you wearing, a classic look to match your sweet disposition. The green and blue colors would look perfect on you, complementing your messy, blond "Parker hair." I found myself pulling out my phone and snapping a picture, wanting that reminder of what could have been.

The last time I bought you clothing was the outfit you wore as you passed away in my arms on August 16, 2013 … a day I will never forget.

Dear son, I thought of you today.

As I stared at that polo shirt, I wondered what your life would be like today. Would you be into building things like your dad? Or would you be in the kitchen baking brownies with me? Would you get along with your rambunctious sister or would you roll your eyes each time she has a meltdown? So many questions that will never be answered. It's the unfortunate reality for those of us grieving parents who never get to watch our children grow up.

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak
Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

Dear Son, I thought of you today.

As I left the store I thought of your short life. I thought of your angelic personality, evident even at only a few days old. I thought about the tremendous love your father and I could feel the moment we first met you and the lives you touched in those 55 days here on earth. I thought about how lucky I was to meet you and how so many parents never even get that chance, instead losing their children to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Dear Son, I thought of you today.

As I got into my car, I reached my hand up to my necklace. I rubbed my fingers over the initials P & A, always holding my two children in Heaven close to my heart. I often wonder what you and your triplet sister are doing up there. Are you watching over us as we play with your sister who survived? Are you having your own play date with other sweet children above?

Dear son, I thought of you today.

I thought you yesterday and the day before that. And I will think of you every single day of my life. You and your sister may no longer be here, but you will never be forgotten.

This story originally appeared on Stacey Skrysak's Facebook page. Skrysak is a local television news anchor in Illinois, but her proudest role is becoming a mom after years of infertility. Stacey is a mother to a 22-weeker surviving triplet and two angels. Even though two of her children were only alive for a short time, her triplets have touched thousands of people around the world. Through her blog, Perfectly Peyton, Stacey has become a voice for infertility, premature birth, and child loss. These days, she sprinkles in the trials and tribulations of raising a daughter, who was once nicknamed "The Diva of the Nicu."

Cover image via goodmoments / Shutterstock.com

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