There are no words to express how grateful we are for the amount of support we have received since losing Asher. We have a stack of cards about 5 inches thick that we have received from family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even strangers.
I have not had to cook a meal since coming home from the hospital because of the kindness of Hubby’s coworkers and our neighbors who set up a meal train for us for an entire month. We have received multiple gift cards to use for meals after that meal train ends so I still will not have to cook. I am so thankful to not have to worry about feeding myself or my husband because the thought of cooking and going about normal life is overwhelming to me.
Since his passing, we have had multiple visits from family and friends to distract us and grieve with us. I’ve had friends completely drop their plans to be with us, some driving across several states to be by my side for only a few hours. I’ve been getting texts every day to see how we are doing. I’ve had old friends from high school, some of whom I haven’t spoken to in years, send me flowers and express their heartbreak for us. I’ve had friends and family just sit and cry with me over the loss of Asher. It speaks volumes to the wonderful friends and family we have who are willing to do these things for us. It makes me sad to know that all of these wonderful people will never get to meet our son and that he will never get to meet them.
Most recently, this past week, we have been visited from family and friends who literally flew across the country to be with us. Hubby’s brother and sister-in-law came in to be with us from California. I was able to spend time alone with my sister-in-law on Thursday, talking about Asher and life. We haven’t had time like that in a very long time. As much as I hated the reason she flew in to be with us, I was so happy to see her and have that time with her. That evening, I had a friend in town staying with us for two nights. She was making a pit stop with us as she made her way down the East Coast to North Carolina. Unbeknownst to me, she and my other friend from high school had a surprise planned. I was taken to a spa on Friday morning, to find my friend from San Antonio was there! She had flown in to be with me. Needless to say, I immediately burst into tears at the surprise. She advised me that she didn’t think grown adults could burst into tears like that. 🙂 Obviously, I proved her wrong. I spent the rest of the day/night with them Friday and they both left Saturday morning.
That afternoon after they left and I was left alone for the first time in 48 hours, I found myself feeling sad and guilty. I had such a great time with my friends, who I rarely get to spend time with together because they live across the country, but I hated the reason that we were all together again; I lost my son. Part of the reason I immediately started crying when I saw my friend had flown in was because of the reason she was there. It almost made it more real for me. We had lost our son, he wasn’t here, and that is why people are flying across the country. We have suffered a massive loss that compels people to drop their lives to be there for us. I know flying is never an easy nor cheap endeavor (especially for my in-laws who did it with a toddler). The fact that our family and friends, who live far away, put themselves through the inconvenience shows what wonderful people we have in our lives.
Saturday evening we were able to spend time with Hubby’s brother, our sister-in-law, and our two-year-old niece. It was the first time Hubby and I had spent an extended period of time around any children since losing Asher. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I think it helped that our niece is a toddler and not an infant. However, I have to admit that my heart broke a little when I heard her laugh or say “mommy” or “daddy”. It just reminded me that I will never get to hear my son’s giggle or him call us “mommy” or “daddy”. I wanted so badly to hear those words from our son and I never will. However, we made it through the evening with no tears (until after they had left).
The amount of love and support we have received is overwhelming. It goes to show there are so many kind and caring people in the world. I literally received a gift from a complete stranger we have never met, but who heard our story from a mutual friend. It also shows how devastating the loss of a child can be. It is a loss that compels many to reach out and express sympathy because it is such an unimaginable heartbreak. So many people have said to us “please let us know if there is anything we can do for you”. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that can really fix our situation, nothing can bring back Asher, but knowing people are there for us if we need them, is all that matters. As broken as I feel at times, I know there are so many out there thinking of us and praying for us. It helps to know we are not alone. Asher has touched so many people in his short life; his absence is felt by many. We are not the only people who lost him, our families and friends did too.