A Father’s Loss

By: Matt Busekrus

My wife Robyn has been writing on her blog at www.robynsnestofhope.com and for Sharing Magazine. I have been proud of her efforts and am glad she is using her writing as a platform to help others that have experienced loss. This month, for Sharing Magazine the topic is Father’s Day and Robyn asked if I would share my thoughts of loss from a dad’s perspective.

Prior to having our son, Hope, we had names picked out for our expected child. When we heard that he no longer had a heartbeat, I felt we needed a name that would give us something to hold onto during this difficult time. Hope seemed to be the perfect fit for our son and we decided this would be his given name.

As the hours passed overnight and Robyn delivered our son, the grief and sadness were intense.

We had experienced great joy at the births of our older sons. Those were some of the happiest moments of our lives. We now found ourselves in the same hospital were those joyful events occurred. Now we faced the reality that we were not taking our son, Hope, home with us.

Robyn has often spoke of how difficult the pains of labor are, yet you know at the end you have your child to hold.  It helps you push through the pain and gives you something to look forward to.

I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that Robyn was going through labor and delivery, yet it would not turned out like it had before.  

On October 19, 2017 at 1:51 am our son, Hope, was born. The nurses said that holding our child would create a bond between us. I was reluctant to do this as he had already passed, but I am fortunate we both had time with him. Robyn held him for several hours until it was time for us to be discharged.  Handing him to the nurse prior to leaving the hospital, was heartbreaking.

Holding a child that you know will not get to experience life ahead is the most painful thing I have ever experienced as a father.  

You hear of people that have experienced the loss of a child and it is something you cannot related to unless you have been through it yourself. This kind of loss is different from losing others. Children aren’t supposed to die. This is what makes this type of loss so difficult.

After Hope was delivered, we held him, prayed, cried and tried to make sense of it all.  The days ahead brought much sorrow and grief. We faced burying our child standing by his graveside just the two of us.  We tried to resume our lives and get back to normalcy.

However, we realized that our normal had drastically changed. We each had to find a way to grieve and process this in our own way.  

I was grateful Robyn took extended leave from work. She needed the time away to grieve. During this time, we received support from friends, co-workers, church and our family members. The support during this time was gratefully appreciated and needed.

Speaking for myself, I was able to find strength in my my faith.  As I write this now, I can tell you that when you suffer a loss, it will always be with you.  

There has not been a day since this happened, I haven’t thought about Hope. I occasionally see young children and have moments were I think what might have been.  

Over the past year and a half, I have seen my wife suffer in ways I never felt I would see. As we were leaving the hospital, the nurse helped Robyn into the car. She sat in the front seat holding her free water cup from the hospital and said, “This is it?!” in shock and disbelief, as we prepared to go home. 

I held her hand and said, “It’s you and me.” It’s been us for the past fourteen years and this has been the hardest thing we have been through together.

She has blamed herself and I have to reassure her through this journey, that this was not her fault and to let go of the self-imposed guilt and blame. She kept replaying questions,
“Why didn’t I see signs?”
“Was it something I ate?”
“Was it something I did?”  

As a parent, you want to protect your child and when the unthinkable occurs, you point the blame at yourself.

You don’t get over loss, but you do get through it.

Continuing to live our lives, is one way we honor our son. My empathy for others has grown and I treasure our living children more than ever. 

To my wife, “Robyn, I too have felt emotions and hurt. I believe we honor Hope by continuing to live our lives. I know that is the hardest part for you. I love you and will continue to be here for you.”

Robyn BusekrusAbout Matt and Robyn Busekrus
Robyn Busekrus is a mom, wife, educator, and writer. Matt and Robyn make their home in Washington, MO.  Losing their third son, Hope, in the second trimester of pregnancy, was an unexpected part of their life’s journey.

Robyn’s blog www.robynsnestofhope.com chronicles the journey of loss and hope.  Appreciating the little things in life, while holding onto faith each day is the message she wants to share with others.  Robyn’s interests include reading, home decorating, vintage markets, and community service.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/robynsnestofhope/

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