One year ago today, my husband and I made the hardest decision of our lives and we turned off the machines that were keeping our son alive.
I still remember the people who were in the room as my husband and I took turns holding our precious baby boy as he lived his last few moments. It was the two of us, a child life specialist, a nurse—who we adored, a photographer and a doctor who had taken a special interest in our journey.
In the 24 hours leading up to that moment, I repeatedly sang the chorus of a song that I’d only heard once from a few weeks prior….”I’m at peace, even though my heart is breaking. I’m at peace, I never thought I would be shaken….” My husband told him that as he was on his journey to Heaven to make sure that he connected with some good women like his grandma and my great-grandma because they would take good care of him. The last thing that our son heard was me telling him that we loved him as I gently rocked him and kissed him and he heard his daddy’s voice on a homemade CD playing on a CD player telling him that he was his Daddy’s boy, his mother’s baby and the righteousness of God.
The doctor took the tube out of him exactly at 7 pm and he took his last breath, in my arms, at 7:23.
After he passed away, I told Chris that I wanted to pray. Those who were in the room with us asked if they could join in. We formed a circle and I thanked God that He chose us to be Christopher Louis Jones, Junior’s parents. I prayed that God would allow our son’s life to serve a great purpose, that God would allow us to feel His love and that He would strengthen us in the days ahead. I prayed that our nurses, doctors and entire care team would be blessed and that as a result of watching our faith journey that their lives would be positively changed.
A year later, the hurt is still there. I don’t expect it to leave. It may not be as prevalent on some days like it is on others—but it’s there. And that OK, because as a human, God created us with a soul that includes emotions. And part of being human is feeling those emotions-even the ones that don’t always feel good.
A year later, we still acknowledge our son by his name and we’re very honest about how much we miss him and how much we love him. Chris talks about how much fun he would be having playing with and getting in trouble with our son due to their mischief. And I talk about how I still can feel his hair and forehead up against my cheek as I nuzzled him during the three days I got to hold him.
A year later, as I reflect over all of the great things that have happened since our son’s death I stand amazed at how God has been able to move through our circumstance to bless so many others—and to show us how strong He and we are. I’m looking forward to seeing how God will continue to move through our lives as we agree to being conduits of change when it comes to what grief and grieving look like for parents who have endured child loss.
A year later, I’m still a mom, my husband is still a dad and our little guy will forever be our son.
Written by: Danielle Jones