November 7, 2015 1:12pm CST
Last night, my second-born son had a joint birthday party with 3 friends to celebrate him turning 14 (which happens in 5 days). The celebration had a wonderful turnout. The kids each received a bunch of fun, low-key gifts (think candy, silly mustaches, funny cards, and more). They played kickball in the dark by putting glow sticks around the bases. It was fantastic. As the party was winding down, I found myself needing a moment to myself to take a breath. My thoughts turned toward my oldest son Nolan who died nearly three years ago at the age of thirteen. Nolan never reached his fourteenth birthday. He would be turning sixteen next month if he were still with us. I kept the tears at bay. The party was a celebration of four great kids. I didn't want to be a downer. Life keeps moving on and I know it must. But sometimes it is pretty darn hard to accept.
18 people like this
7 Nov 15
I know that your loss will always hurt your heart, but you're doing such a good job supporting and allowing your other kids to grow and flourish in this world. I cannot imagine how you son feels, except maybe he feels his older brother's spirit is with him on such occasions. When our son was away at university he told us that he often thought of his sister, and it would warm his thoughts especially when he got lonely and homesick.
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Nov 15
I don't know that you can ever really get over the loss of your child, and things like birthdays and holidays are bound to bring it to mind more. It's good that you could hold it together for the sake of your other son, but I am sure it was a very difficult thing to do.
3 people like this
• Boise, Idaho
10 Nov 15
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your other son. I can't even imagine. I think you are carrying on in very graceful and wise way. We can't bring our loved ones back but we can add their memories to celebrations and keep their memory alive. A extra candle on the cake for a missing brother maybe.
9 Nov 15
That's a really difficult thing to live through. You were right to go off by yourself with those thoughts, so as not to ruin your son's day. You'll have to focus on him and appreciate the fact he is in your life. Nolan would want that.
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 15
I'm glad you all had a lovely celebration for your son, and managed to keep the sad thoughts to yourself for his sake. I'm sure he often thinks of Nolan too, as you do, because he will always be in your hearts and 3 years is not very long at all. It will get a little easier as the years go by because you just can't go through life being sad all the time.