**I would like to preface this post by apologizing for how long it’s been since my last post. In addition to the busyness of life, I’ve just been discouraged in general with some aspects of my life due to criticism from people who I thought cared about me. Recently though, I remembered that I don’t write this for them. I write this for me, and for anyone who would like some insight on my personal grief journey. If that is not you, then there is no need for you to continue reading. If that is you, then I’m glad you’re here.
In a little more than a month, we will be welcoming a new baby boy into our family, Theodore Erik Toy (first name is from President Roosevelt, middle name is from his Uncle, my deceased brother). Theo’s due date is March 16, but due to medical reasons, he will likely arrive during the last week of February or the first week of March. These months bring constant reminders of Erik. We lost him on February 9, 2016, two days before my birthday, and one month before his 28th birthday on March 8. Because Erik and I were only 13 months apart, we shared a lot, including birthday parties, schools, and friends. So the time between February 11 and March 8 brings about even more memories.
Beyond the significance of Theo’s impending arrival date, the words “brother” and “little brother” have become daily words in our home as we prepare my 3.5 year old daughter for his arrival, too. “Brother” is a word that has had so much power over me over the past two years that it almost automatically invokes an emotional response, no matter the context. Prepping my daughter for her brother makes me mourn my own all over again. It makes me mourn the loss of her time as an only child, which is something I so longed for when I was younger. Though now that I have become an “only child”, I’d give anything to give that title back. I worry about the dynamic their relationship will have and how my own loss will shape their lives. I hope that I am able to use my experience to shape their relationship in a positive way but also give them the freedom to shape their own relationship as well. Obviously everyone expecting a child has worries and doubts and feelings of inadequacy. But, my grief and trauma certainly complicates things especially considering the new dynamic entering our lives.
Overall, I hope that my family and I will be able to temper our expectations of this new “brother” entering our lives and that we will allow him to follow his own path and destiny. I am so thankful to have been able to find a Doula, or birth assistant, who is also pregnant with her first son, and who has also lost a brother, to be by my side when we bring Theo into this world. I am so thankful for this baby growing inside me and for my daughter’s growing enthusiasm and excitement. I am so thankful for the support and love that surrounds me and lifts me up. I’m thankful, I’m scared as hell, and I really wish my brother was here. But, baby Theo, you are already so so loved, and we can’t wait to meet you!