Please give a warm welcome to Melissa Radke who is today’s guest blogger for the Saturday Sound Off. Melissa is new to blogging. In fact, this is her first post, EVER! Melissa is the mother of five beautiful children who range in age from two months to seven years old. Melissa describes herself as a RN / Med Student / Mother / Father (when her husband is at sea) / Sailor’s Wife / Pet Handler and when time allows, a grieving mother. She currently resides in Virginia where he husband is stationed but her heart will always be in California and Hawaii.
It has been one year and six months since I last saw, held, kissed and hugged our son, James Landon Jase. He was born with TGA, transposition of the great arteries. Although it was caught shortly after he was born, he had several complications which led him to passing away less than a month after he was born. As you can imagine, I was a big mess like any mother would be after losing her newborn child.
My husband and I were not ready to say goodbye, no parent should ever have to say goodbye to their child. Children are supposed to out live their parents, not the other way around. Eventually we had to decide whether we wanted to bury or cremate or son. The thought of having to bury him was like forcing my husband and I to say goodbye to him. It just didn’t feel right to us. We ended up cremating him and placing his ashes on a shelf in our room, watching over us. And yes, we were both okay with having his ashes in our bedroom. It gave us the feeling of completion having him close by.
After months of trying to grieve, we finally reached a day where we accepted that our son was gone and was not coming back. Coincidentally, on that same day we found out we were pregnant once again. My husband and I went through every single emotion that you can think of. And believe it or not, getting pregnant actually helped make the grieving process more manageable. Not easier or harder, but manageable.
The day James Hu’elani Kahikeilani was born, I felt some of my stress melting away. However, I still had the anxiety of not knowing if he was going to live, if he was healthy and if he would out live his big brother. So many questions ran through my mind, it was overwhelming at times. It took exactly 17 days to realize that our newborn son was not going anywhere. He was healthy and was here to stay. He has helped me to appreciate what we have now as opposed to what we have lost. I have learned to love in a different way. A love that I surely don’t take for granted any more. If I could say one thing to our son who has passed, I would tell him that mommy is ok but my love for him will never end.