Tonight I was two different people, yet I was the same person.
I spent time telling the mother of a dead baby that life as the father of a dead baby sucks. It sucks that we are shunted to the sidelines. It sucks that we are expected to not feel the same depth of pain as the mother of our dead baby.
Later, I went over the completed scrapbook of my son that my wife prepared. When I came to the page with the hand and foot-prints of my son, I started to cry. An outpouring of emotion like I haven't had in months flowed over and through me. My eyes stung and the tears flowed. And it sucked.
I am eight and a half months away from the day that my son Gabriel was born, and from the day that my son Gabriel died. And my pain is still welded to the fabric of my being. I don't feel it as vividly every day. But when I paid attention to it tonight, it was as if I had just stepped out of the delivery room after my son was taken to the morgue.
My heart, my body, and my soul weep for the loss of my son. And yet I feel obliged to try and help another man whom I have never met forge his way though the pain that he feels.
Just when I feel like I am coping and wearing this burden of my son's death, it reaches out from an unexpected yet not unfamiliar location and reminds me that I, too, am human and that I, too, still mourn his untimely, unfair, and unjust loss.