Never the Same
It is not easy to describe the feelings of vast emptiness and despair that having a baby in Heaven creates. Any parent who has lost a child will agree that the day his or her child left this world is the day a part of their heart went to heaven too, leaving an empty void that nothing can ever fill.
Ever since Sebastian passed away, nothing feels complete. It doesn’t matter what I do or how hard I try, there is always that empty space next to Gia that just keeps on getting emptier and emptier. The time has definitely eased the pain created by the void in my heart, however, nothing has or will ever be able to truly fill that space.
Things like going to the playground had become nothing but pure torture for me. The playgrounds just looked so empty without Sebastian… even taking Gia over to play became very hard. I did not know what to do anymore: I always loved playing with them, singing for them, and doing silly little things together. The time spent with them had always brought me so much joy because I could relish feeling like a kid again myself. For me, having Sebastian and Gia was not just a gift of motherhood, but also a second chance at childhood—the real childhood I never felt I had. But with Sebastian’s passing, that joy I experienced had vanished. No matter how hard I tried, I could not feel that bliss nor happiness anymore. Instead, those feelings of emptiness grew in my heart as time and time again my mind drifted away while Gia and I played together.
I will never forget the time when Sebastian had brought the sweetest note from school, traced by him, that read: “I love mommy because she plays with me.” I always felt that you can show your children love by spending quality time and playing with them. Just saying you love them does not mean much to them without actually showing them that love. I know Sebastian knew that I loved him, however I am not sure I can say the same with Gia… I try to make her feel loved but sometimes I wonder: if I don’t feel loved myself, how can Gia feel loved around me?
I regret not being able to be there for Gia like I used to be. She deserves for me to be there for her and give her my 250 percent. Meanwhile, at times, I feel like I don’t even give her my 50 percent. I am always so busy doing something else: cooking; cleaning; being on my phone. When I had both of them, it did not matter what house work needed to get done. I would wait until they were asleep to do those chores and never even used my cell phone around them—I was always present in the moment. A lot of times, I did not even know where my phone was and it took me days before I checked it, usually only on the weekends. Now, however, as much as I hate to admit it, while Gia and I are playing, I always find an excuse to break away and check it.
One of the things I enjoyed the most with Sebastian were creating make-believe bedtime stories together. He loved listening to them while I was giving him his beloved foot massages. I, too, loved those moments when he would stick out his sweet, little, chubby feet and let me rub them while I let my imagination take us to a different place every night. On some nights, he was a brave sailor sailing through the seas meeting new creatures on his journey, and sometimes he was helping a little star find its family somewhere up there, in the sky.
After he passed, I continued telling him those stories for a while and then I stopped completely. I was unable to gather enough strength or courage to tell Gia one of those stories, even though, so often, I wanted to. But, one night, she wanted me to read her one more book before bedtime. I had had enough of reading children’s books that night so I turned off the light and asked if she wanted me to tell her a story.
Now I tell her stories while rubbing her back. She rides unicorns and flies with the angels to the clouds to play with her beloved brother. In those moments, I always remind her how much he loves her.
I hope, as I tell those stories, Sebastian is there with us listening and smiling down upon us.