We always talk about Moms when we talk about losing a child. How unimaginable it must be for us. It really is indescribable. Whether we had the privilege of being able to carry that baby while it grew, or we became that tiny humans Mom through another avenue, we are their Moms. Moms are often the heart of the home. It’s a huge privilege and gift to have. But we don’t often stop to think of the Dads. The fathers who lost their sons or daughters.
Dean lost his baby boy. The boy he was supposed to teach his strange boy stuff too. The boy he was supposed to make fart jokes with. The boy he was supposed to help tie his first tie, or teach how to shave.
Going through the long and hard journey with Killian, I had the privilege of spending every single day with him. Not only did I carry him in my belly for 9 months, but I was given the ability to spend every day of his life with him. Dean didn’t get to have that. He had to juggle our family, animals, and life back home. He had to find the time and energy to work to keep our life afloat. He had to drive almost 10 hours a week, after taking take of our life, and working as much as he could, to be with me and his baby on the weekends. He had to support me emotionally, while pushing his emotions down, because he wasn’t given the luxury or time to really experience them. He spent the time he could with Killian, in between taking care of the rest of us.
I was the one who got to hold Killian every day. I was the one who got to bathe him, and exercise him. I was the one who got to hold his hand when they were fighting for his life in those last minutes. I was the one who got to hold him in my arms when he died. Dean didn’t take any of those times. He supported me. He held my hand and rubbed my back. He held me up when I was unable to do it myself. He sacrificed so much precious time with his baby to give me all the time I could get.
Dads of sick children are amazing men. They stand in the background watching their children fight for their lives, and instead of falling apart, they do everything they can to hold up their partner. They hold the family together, when it could so easily crumble.
Dean took hold of our family and held it together. He was our rock and glue that allowed me to spend invaluable time with our Bean. He kept our two boys from falling apart when all of the sudden Mama was gone. He kept all of the medical jargon and information in his head so we could make the decisions that needed to be made. And he kept me sane. He let me scream and cry and yell and break apart, and then he picked me up, looked me in the eye and told me I could do it. I could do all the things Killian needed me to do. And in the hours that he wasn’t spending keeping our life intact, he went and sat with Killian. I can never thank him enough.