I am not sure where I would be today without social media and the support that has stemmed from sharing our son so openly. The ability to safely connect in a time when I have felt so vulnerable, isolated, and uncertain about the world has been a lifeline.
A couple of months ago (ok, I am 4 days early), I posted this on Facebook. In the spirit of social media, I thought I would extend its reach.
Today, Owen Benjamin Edmondson is 3 months old.
The English teacher in me has found great difficulty with tense when referring to our little boy. At first, I could not accept that my son would be a “was”. I have since realized that he does not have to be. He always will “be” in our hearts, therefore he “is”. I recognize that this is not a worry most parents have, but we have learned that our role as parents is inherently different.
Every new parent wants to be acknowledged. Every new parent wants their child to be acknowledged. This is something that we have struggled with internally over the past few months. It has stemmed from the fear of our son being forgotten. At a time when most parents are excitedly documenting milestones and complaining about a lack of sleep, we are endeavouring to parent our son’s memory (and fall asleep in an eerily quiet house). It isn’t easy to do, but we expected that our lives would change when we became parents. He deserves this.
It is ok to mention Owen to us. In fact, we insist. Death is not a comfortable subject for people to talk about. We recognize that it is awkward. Stumble through this with us. Cry with us. Smile with us. It is ok to not know what to say, but if you can muster the courage, hearing our son’s name or some sentiment to let us know you have been thinking of his memory means the world to us.
Let us know when you have had an Owen moment; a time when you have stopped to appreciate the world we live in, a time when you stopped to embrace life. We only get one, enjoy it.
Our journey so far has been emotional, to say the least. We are so thankful that we have our friends, family and community (near and far) along our journey with us. The love and care shown towards our little family has been appreciated more than we will ever be able to fully express.
We will always celebrate our little man. He continues to bring joy to our lives and show us the beauty of the world. He is so very loved. He is a special little boy. Our Owen Benjamin.
He is and always will be.