I have three beautiful kids but one is in heaven
“I have three beautiful kids but one is in heaven.”
Many people are uncomfortable with this statement. Many people don’t know how to act when they hear these words. These are some of my feelings and thoughts from my experience talking with people about the loss of a child.
Over a year has passed since Amber and I lost one of our little girls. I notice every time someone asks me how many kids I have, the subject will change quickly once I say we have a child in heaven. In the first few months, I was ok with this as it was very hard to think and talk about our loss. I didn't want to talk about it because I felt I couldn't show weakness. I am the husband and I had to be strong. Now, I have had time to learn how to live our new life.
Not a day goes by where I don't think of Emalyn. Not a day goes by where I play with her twin sister Grace, and not imagine Emalyn sitting next to her. Every day I watch my four year old son being such a good brother and wonder how awesome he would think it is to have another one just like her. I'm sure he would say that it's super awesome.
You see this is now my life. It will never change or go away. Emalyn will forever live in my heart and mind. She is my child. I will never forget her. I remember finding out we were expecting twins. I can remember watching them both moving on the ultrasound and listening to two different heartbeats. I will always remember being in that dimly lit hospital room, the bed on the left as you walked in, and the couch with my clothes by the window, my cell phone on the arm of the couch. It was in this room where Amber held our little Emalyn for a while and we said our goodbye. I never got to look into her open eyes. I never got to say hello but I held her with my wife. She was there and I held her hand as we tried to memorize every inch of her.
I want people to know all of this because you don't have to change the subject when I bring up the fact that I have lost a child.
When I get asked about how many kids I have, my answer will always be three but one is in heaven. We can talk about it because it is a part of my daily life. If I didn't want to talk about it, my answer would be two children. That was my answer in the beginning. I felt the need to avoid the struggle and pain to allow me to stay strong for my family. Now that I have learned and adjusted to my new life, the answer will always be three. I have two other beautiful children that we can talk about all day. It's ok to ask about Emalyn. It is even ok to say a prayer if you want. I might get choked up from time to time, but that's ok. It is hard stuff, it is real. It's my life and it makes me who I am today.
I completely understand if you feel uncomfortable talking about my loss but let's keeping talking about the other children and your children. We do not have to change the subject completely. I know you might not know what to say and that is why the subject gets changed. Please don't be afraid. If you say the wrong thing, I know you mean well. That is what makes this life I live a reality. If I am willingly giving you the information, then I don’t mind to talk about it.
Brandon M Wagner
Co-Founder of Emalyn's Angels