Back in April, around the time of my last post, Nate and I were talking about getting tattoos in honor of Theo. A few people recommended a newer studio and artist in our town, so we started browsing his photos on Facebook to get a sense of his style. He seemed very talented and came highly recommended, so I went back to Facebook the next day to message him about setting up an appointment. Imagine my surprise when the first post on his page was from a newly hired marketing and communications intern, whose first act in her new job was to post that she “loves goats, bacon, and dead baby jokes.”
I cannot even describe my feelings upon seeing this post. Instead of going public with the post immediately, I chose to message the owner and give him the opportunity to remedy the situation. To make a long story short, he did not. We were told that they (he and his intern) were sorry that we were offended by the post, but that dead babies are just something they find “peculiarly funny.” The intern then likened the loss of our baby to the loss of her pet goat, and the owner followed that disaster up with a new post about how dead baby jokes aren’t funny, but dead hooker jokes are.
As I was in the midst of trying to tell my story, to make these ignorant and insensitive people understand my point of view, a new message popped up on my screen.
“This information has not been made public yet, but I am letting your family know. W passed away this morning.”
I sank to my knees and sobbed. W was my brother’s best friend growing up — he had been like a second brother to me and a member of our family for 25 years. I couldn’t believe he was gone. The message was from his brother — if I had heard the news from anyone else, I would not have believed it.
I felt so guilty. I hadn’t spoken to W since January. I knew he was going through some hard times, but we were going through hard times of our own. I was barely functional those first months after Theo died. I should have thought it strange that he hadn’t contacted me at all when Theo died — it was very unlike him. I should have reached out. I should have let him know that I loved him. Did he know?
Fast forward one week and May 3rd found us sitting at W’s funeral. November 3 — mom died. February 3 — Theo died/was born. May 3rd — W’s funeral. Please, God, let us get through three months without losing another loved one.
Grieving the loss of a friend was a different grief experience. I know my mom knew how much she meant to me, and I’m pretty sure Theo knew too. But W? Did he think I had forgotten him? Did he think I didn’t care? I wish I could hug him one more time and tell him what he meant to me. Don’t miss any opportunity to let people know how you feel — you never know when it could be your last chance.
Incidentally, Nate and I did finally get our tattoos in Theo’s memory from a different studio in our town.
i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)