The Ties That Bind: The Evolving Relationship of Angel and Surviving Heart Moms
"I love you I love you I love you. Just wanted to flood you with all the love I can muster."
The day I learned my dear heart sister lost her child, this was the message I sent her via Facebook. Her son and mine had undergone the Fontan within less than two months of each other. Our journeys mirrored each other, as did our personal lives. We both love craft beer, rock music, and many other things that connected us outside of The Heartland.
She contacted me immediately, and through her sadness found some joy in our new relationship status.
Over the next several months, I began finding heart shaped leaves and other signs her sweet baby was watching over us as we planned our wedding. I found a heart shaped leaf while picking up my fiancee's wedding band. I discovered a tree with a heart-shaped knot, in the park where we held our wedding ceremony. When I checked in with our florist, there was a heart shaped leaf on the ground. During our honeymoon, my husband and I made a spur of the moment trip to a garden. We relaxed on a bench, holding hands. We looked up to find a wall filled with heart shaped leaves. I took photographs of each heart-shaped symbol I found, sharing each with my heart sister, to let her know I always carry her son in my own heart.
I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the pain one experiences when they lose their child. I have confided in my friend that I carry the fear of losing my own son.
The best thing you can do when faced with this situation, is just continue to offer your unwavering love and support. To those grieving, we do remember your children. Every day. We may not show it or speak it on a daily or even weekly basis, but your children are in our hearts and on our minds, always. Please forgive us for our silence. Sometimes silence is our escape. It’s our coping mechanism. Your reality is our greatest fear.
In the coming months, my friend is planning a trip to visit us. For the first time in the course of our friendship, we will meet in person. I am looking forward to embracing her, face to face and heart to heart. The gift of her friendship is something I am thankful for every day. When we share our best and worst with each other, and bare our souls for a sliver of hope, the ties that bind us cannot be broken.
Program Events Coordinator, Sisters By Heart