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He Is My Son -- Not My 'Baby'

If I knew someone who had suffered the loss of their teenage child, I would never say, "I'm sorry for the loss of your teenager." What a terrible thing to say, right? I, in no way, want to sound like I did not appreciate the love that other people gave me, but I do want to educate on the respectful way to speak to a parent after they suffer the loss of a very young child.
10/30/2014 07:03pm ET | Updated December 30, 2014
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I watched him grow throughout the weeks on the black and white screen of an ultrasound machine. His little legs and arms were longer every time I got to see him. I was in awe of his tiny fingers as they waved and his tiny feet as they danced within me. I remember at one of my prenatal appointments he turned his head perfectly... it was as if he was gazing over at me, like he could see me, just as I was memorizing his every move.

Memories are all I now have to hold. Those special moments of watching him grow/play, have become the engraved images upon my heart. The gentle kicks and nudges are memories safely nestled within my heart.

I didn't get long to mother him this side of heaven. I took my vitamins, ate healthy foods, drank plenty of water, spoke/sang to him and gently rubbed my belly to share my motherly love with him. He was, and is, loved beyond what any words could possibly explain.

Something that I have struggled with throughout the last six years following the death of my son -- to some people, he was never really here. He was a "baby." He was tucked away from the eyes of people and never got introduced to family/friends. He was here one minute and gone the next. It was only through a few photos, and my tears, that one could be informed of his life. He was here and I want the world to know him.

His name -- Isaiah Christopher Ross. He was born on August 3, 2008. His heart continued to beat for fifteen minutes within my warm loving arms, before entering the arms of his heavenly Father.

I returned home from the hospital with a shattered heart. I knew exactly what I had lost. I had lost a lifetime with one of my boys... and he had lost a lifetime with his family.

It was very difficult having to walk around hearing people tell me that they knew how I felt. That there was a reason for the loss. Those words were absolutely cruel to me (at the time). Let me tell you something in the most sincere way I can -- do NOT tell someone that you know how they feel after they have suffered the loss of a child if you have never had to say goodbye to your child. Be a listening ear, without opinion. Help with something that needs to be done around the home, or run an errand. But never give your opinion on why death has taken the life of someones child. In a way, I felt as though people were trying to come up with a reason as to why he died, because he was a "baby." The last thing I want is a downplay on the life of my son.

Why does it appear as though society makes it out to be easier for a parent to lose a child if they were a "baby?" Should I have had days upon days to play and get to know him? Or, maybe I need to throw in some Christmas and birthday memories to make it a more painful loss? How about we look at the memories that we didn't get to make. Or, we look at that empty spot within the family. The family photo that is missing his smile. The little drawings that are nowhere to be found, because he never had the chance to put crayon to paper. I do have a pair of empty little blue doggy slippers that he never filled. Does that count?

After some months went by after Isaiah's death, I noticed that when people gave me words of condolence, they would speak the following statement:

"I'm sorry for the loss of your baby."

If I knew someone who had suffered the loss of their teenage child, I would never say, "I'm sorry for the loss of your teenager." What a terrible thing to say, right? I, in no way, want to sound like I did not appreciate the love that other people gave me, but I do want to educate on the respectful way to speak to a parent after they suffer the loss of a very young child.

I did not lose my baby -- my son died. The term baby refers to the age/size of my son. Yes, he was small... very very small. But please do not forget that he was, and is, my son.


"There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this world."
-author unkown