I lost my son.
My wife fought bravely, as did Donovan. He made it, against the odds and the doctor’s belief. She fought trials, scares and tribulations I can only imagine, as she carried them both for the sake of the one.
We made it to seven months and c-section brought my boys into the world. I held them both, my strong-willed fighter, and the little, gift from god that was ripped from us.
Then came the funeral, and the NICU.
I asked my wife if I could bring Donovan in our house because I had thought how wonderful it would be to bring one in, since she had brought in the others. It was a tradition we had to film this event.
I look at Donovan, hold him, change him, sleep with him, and love him. And I see Sean every single time.
The world has given me my allowable 15 minutes of attention, and now I “should be grateful I have Donovan.”
We’re supposed to move on. Time heals all wounds.
But, the world is broken, and I don’t know how to fix it. I can’t fix it…but it’s my job.
And I failed.
There is no sorrow in the world that can even begin to express in words the devastation to the soul. There is no place for a man to go. We are not allowed.
A woman is allowed, and expected to grieve. It is explained as post-partum, hormones, and a myriad of other fancy words that makes it okay. There is support, understanding, and comfort out there.
But not for me. We are not allowed. We are men, and we are expected to be strong. We are supposed to understand that Life is Pain, Get Used to It.
It’s okay if we let our consummate rage out in a forest, blowing down trees with weapons, as we scream at the sky in our anger. We can take an axe and chop down trees, screaming, until we fall, exhausted, to the ground. We can even cry, as long as no one sees, and we don’t impact others.
We can drink and avoid. It is expected. It is even suspected, even if we don’t do it.
As for me, I am responsible for an entire company and I can spend 24 hours a day working, both on site, and through this wonderful medium of e-mail and constant connectivity. So, I work. All day, all night. Even more enticing than alcohol, drugs, or other so-called “remedies” to avoid dealing with this devastation of my life and personal self-impression, I can succumb to the thought drowning enticement of work.
And I do. I failed in my job at home. I can find stability and the renewal of my self-worth at work. I am always in control there, and No One dies. Personal heartbreak and devastation is impossible. It is safe.
So, here we are. As a good Dad and Husband, I am strong, as expected, and I am trying to help. I am trying to support my wife, off-load as much as possible, and handle what I can. But, I am broke too, and I don’t know how to get myself back, either.
But I will. I must. I have no choice. It is expected of me. I am a Man.
And it’s my Job………..