I think it was January 12th…or the 13th or the 18th. I’m not sure, really. The details don’t stay with me. The date and time, the paint color on the wall and the little black and white pictures – those details have faded. But the feelings do not leave. They have moved in like the clutter that follows Christmas, only I cannot organize them and put the dross out on the curb. These feelings have permanent residence in my heart.
I don’t remember what the woman looked like who delivered the news. I do remember the crushing blow of her words, “I am so sorry. Twin B’s heart has stopped.” Silence. So much silence. And then, “Is there someone I can call to be with you right now, honey?”
I felt blank. Empty. My soul was a chalkboard without words…foreboding blackness. I stared back in disbelief. “Excuse me?,” I managed to sputter…and so she repeated it all again so my disbelief could become understanding.
I’ve never written about this before. January comes, January goes. Once, six years ago, my baby’s heart stopped in January. In the coldness of this month, it is never lost on me. The wind bites, but not as much as the sadness. I do not speak of it, but I carry it. I have never really put the loss down.
My husband and I planted a dogwood for Isaiah. It stands, naked, in the backyard.
But in the Spring, it will bloom. Yes, the dogwood will bloom again this Spring, both from its branches and in my heart, because death has no finality for me. I am a Resurrection person, and I will see Isaiah again. Next time I see Isaiah, I will hold him and tell him how much I’ve missed him.
My dear friend said to me years ago, “Your joy goes as high as your sorrow goes deep.” I didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand. But after losing Isaiah, I came to know how right this friend was. So my daughter, Isaiah’s twin, carries the middle name, “Joy.”
When I look now at my Lauren Joy, a healthy, vibrant 5-year-old girl, I am reminded often of my sweet Isaiah. Lauren is Joy today, and this brings me strength to face the blustering winds of January.
Because I…I am a Resurrection person. And I will know the full joy of my little Isaiah in the next chapter.