Grief Journal: 4 months, 24 days. 20 weeks.

The past 4 months have been a roller coaster, though not as bizarre as I thought it would be. In fact, the pain of missing Gabe is just now getting worse. Searing, some nights.

The week before his funeral, the day of his funeral, my emotions were paused and though pain was there, it didn't translate into emotion- into tears or into reality half the time.

Though the world had changed suddenly, the change was small- since the boy I had lost I had lost slowly, for 5 months. Maybe it was better for us to let go so slowly of him... Maybe it was worse. We never let go until that moment. You know the moment- the moment his life force left his body and I felt him go from my arms.

I have talked a lot on here about the emotions surrounding this loss- but loss doesn't always have emotions that make sense. When they do, it's almost a celebration that what you are feeling is somewhat normal.

Today, I literally ache for my son, Gabriel. Worse than it's ever been, because I know how he can never be replaced.

I follow a lot of blogs of little ones with Down Syndrome, I have a lot of friends on Facebook who have little ones with Down Syndrome... So I see Gabe in a few of them often.

Ryder has so much that reminds me of Gabe in his face, his mannerisms... It's like I get to see a glimpse of what might have been had Gabe thrived like he is thriving.

If Heaven would only give me my hopes and dreams for one day, I would have three little people in my home this summer.

I would have two boys in my arms now... two brothers beaming at each other.

If imagining that is worse, then so be it. I have to imagine it because it is my hearts true joy to imagine what I imagined for so long that I would have again.

I can't describe the spirit of Gabe on here, but I would try. Gabe was sweet, gentle, but determined. He had delays, but he was so smart. He knew something about you when he stared into your face. Something you could see reflecting through him back into yourself. He knew your goodness.

Have you ever missed the one who could shine a light into your soul and give you faith in the goodness of all things?

It is a difficult thing to miss, the purity in that little soul of his.

Judah and Gabe definitely looked like brothers, but I have a hard time seeing the 'Gabe' in Judah, and I wish sometimes if I stared hard enough I could see it, but I am afraid they are just too different.

The beauty of their relationship is I knew how good they were for each other. Gabe could teach Judah so much, and Judah could teach Gabe so much too. They complimented each other, as brothers, as friends... I could almost see them as adults when I watched them together.

I could almost see them in high school, and I could almost see Gabe's purpose in every aspect of our lives...

But apparently that was not his entire purpose.

The other day, someone said to me that by missing Gabe I was defying God. They also said that God had determined when Gabe would die, and suddenly something new clicked in my brain.

God didn't pick the moment Gabe died.

We did.

I know God was there, and I know God was with us... but we, with our free will, prayed and listened and heard no voice that told us Gabe's last moments were here. We, flawed as we were, determined that Gabe's fight would not be drawn out any longer as he looked so sick.

We, flawed as it is, chose when our son died.

I'm not silly enough to believe that God couldn't have ordained him to live or not, but I am also very well aware that God did not ordain him to live at that moment, nor did God kill Gabe. God did not take our son away. (And I do not believe God 'takes away, as God told Job that he was wrong in his thinking and that quote is a quote from Job).

He took his hand and led him out of the room when his life ended.

I believe that God's presence is the key in those moments. Does God kill babies? He has to be a pretty hateful guy if he just rips away babies from wanting parents hands, and that's not the God I know. God comforts us, catches us, holds us.

That is my key in this.

Gabe, the boy I miss more than I could ever miss my own lungs, he is experiencing the ultimate peace... and we are the ones who need comforting now.

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