I have to be close

“He’s gone, they took him and he’s not coming back.”  I would say this to Tim every day for days after Enoch had passed away.  The truth is nobody took him, rather we handed Enoch to a nurse.  I remember her black hair and short stature so clearly.

At the hospital throughout the night we were told we could give Enoch to the nurses at any point.  Nope, never.  I’m going to hold onto my son for every minute until I am discharged.  That’s how I felt, and that’s what I did.  At 9:30 Wednesday morning they told us we could go home.  A few more minutes, I needed just a few more minutes…  Really I needed a lifetime, but that wasn’t an option.  So we took our time, I kissed his head as many times as possible knowing I wouldn’t be able to again.  And I didn’t just kiss his hat, I needed to feel the skin of his forehead against my lips.  Eventually Tim handed our son over to the nice nurse with the dark hair and short stature because there was no way I could do it.  I remember watching her walk down the hallway; it was unbearably hard.  Sometimes I think it’s a good thing I was in shock, because thinking back on it now I don’t know that you would have been able to pry him from my arms.

So as the days passed I would continue to say, “They took him and he’s not coming back.” It’s amazing to me how God created moms with this instinct to be near their babies.  It’s not taught.  I hadn’t learned it from being a mom before.  Nope, as a new mom it was against everything in my being to be far from Enoch.  He was with me for 40 weeks and 5 days.  He grew in me, I felt him move and kick; I heard his heart beat; I would talk to him; and I took him on adventures.  He was our son.  I loved him with my whole being, and suddenly he wasn’t with me.  He wasn’t in me, he wasn’t in his crib, he was so far, and he wasn’t coming back.

I knew where he was, at Prentice Funeral Home in Kenmore.  He was with Lori, a friend, and the only person I trusted with our dead son.  I knew he was being well taken care of, but it didn’t help.  Our son wasn’t with me, and that’s all that mattered.  

It wasn’t until we buried him the following Wednesday that I realized not knowing exactly where he was gave me such unrest.  Now I know, and I can go visit his physical body which is 2.9 miles and 8 minutes from our house.  I go everyday.  I need to be near him!  It’s not the same as holding him in my arms and kissing his forehead.  It will never be the same, but it’s all I have.  And I have to be close!

The reality of him never being with us physically is paralyzingly sad.   And on hard days I still find myself saying, “They took him and he’s not coming back.”

Enoch’s gravestone isn’t in yet, and it was so sad there was nothing at his grave, no toys, no marker, nothing.  So Tim and I took him a pair of converse, one’s we hoped he would wear.  Instead, they mark where our little baby lies.

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