Is that the right word for this? Epilogue. What comes after the end of the story? Maybe so… whatever it is called, there is more…
On Tuesday, May 24th, 2016, I left the hospital without my baby.
I felt empty. I was in shock. I’m pretty sure I was numb. How could I have come here with him and now I was leaving without him? How could that be? How could I leave him behind?
Where was his hand to hold crossing the street to where the car was parked? How could there be an empty seat next to Shane when I turned around in the car? I was still looking for him, expecting him to be there.
I had this insane urge to turn back to go get him. The only thing I can compare the feeling to is that moment when you think you’ve lost your child in a crowded place. You turn away for a moment and when you turn back around, they are gone. That moment of sheer panic. The one where your heart drops, you get that pit in your stomach. That feeling becomes permanent.
Still, a year later, if I let myself go there, if I lift the buffers, that sheer panic is there. My heart races, the pit is in my stomach, I’m ready to come unglued. And I’m pretty sure that feeling will be there as long as I live. And I hate it. I can’t fix it. I can’t find him. I can’t ever make that feeling really go away.
I miss Wyatt. I miss what he was and what he would have been. I miss what I had with him and I miss what was yet to come. I miss the future with him that no longer exists. The things I looked forward to with him that will never be.
All that being said, there is beauty to be found in all of this pain and sadness. Wyatt is still with me and in my heart. He visits me in a favorite song, a treasured memory, an owl that waits for me on my walks in the park, special moments that seem to arise out of the blue. Wyatt’s spirit continues in all those who knew him or now know of him. Those who remember to be kind in his honor. Those who take a little more time to be with those they love. Those who choose to live with passion. Those who remember a sweet boy who was always ready with a big smile, a heartfelt laugh, and a warm hug.
So as much as Wyatt’s story has an ending, it is also a beginning and a continuation. It turns into a story of beauty that follows great tragedy. It is painful and bittersweet, yet filled with love. Love for a beautiful soul gone too soon. Love that wasn’t done loving. Love that still continues in the face of loss. Love that continues to carry on a legacy. Love that is shared between family and friends to honor a sweet sweet soul.