Last week, we walked in the Mach of Dimes Walk for Babies walk in honor of my cousin’s baby who was stillborn earlier this year. Its an event I’ve thought about doing in the past, and I was proud of her for having the strength to go through with it in honor of her son.
The thing I was stuck on was whether or not to take the kids. Gracie, in particular, talks a lot abut Rip lately and I was worried explaining the reason for our walk to her might bring up questions I wasn’t prepared to answer. I was protecting her, see?
In the end, we decided to do the walk as I family. When I explained that the reason for the event was to raise money for babies who were born too early, Gracie said, “so babies like Baby Rip won’t have to go up to heaven? That’s good.” And she went back to playing.
Parking in the hospital garage, getting out of the car, walking to the event down the same streets where we walked to say goodbye to Rip (and later hello to Sam and Gracie), I was overcome with emotion. And wouldn’t you just know it, they were playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes as we arrived. As I was saying prayers of thanks for my oversized sunglasses, my children happily played beside me.
All of those questions I was so afraid of, the fear and sadness I brought to this event- that’s on me. Why did Rip die? Why do any babies have to die? Where are you, God, in this world these days? Those are questions I struggle with.
My kids, they don’t question. Rip is in Heaven. He is with God. We will do our best to help other big brothers to hang out with their families longer. Any fear or sadness in this day just did not occur to them. I know this kind of acceptance won’t last forever, but in the meantime I’ll try my best not to mask my projections and it protection.