The Question
by Angela Westermann

Tonight the question was asked.
"How did you live through that?"
"I don't know, " I replied, "I just did."
Somehow I lived through the day my baby died.
That moment is forever embedded in my mind.

"Is he still alive?" I asked. "His heart is still beating," was the reply. I gently cradled my baby son against my beating heart, as the very life I so wanted to give him drained from his. I play this image over and over in my mind. I know it by heart. One single breath, one single beating of the heart separated us. I looked at his father, the tears burning his face, streaming like a river. Neither one of us knew how to comfort one another. But somehow we did. He crawled up in the bed, mother, father, and son lying together. A family. That moment time stood still. All was as it was supposed to be. We wrapped our arms around our little son and slept. Waking up only to find out it was true.

They moved us to a private room.
Family and friends surrounded us.
A thick silence filled the air.
A baby gone
lies in the bassinet beside me.
I look over and think "Why?"

All I can say is, "It's not supposed to be this way!" Confusion, betrayal, sadness and complete chaos take over my world. My baby, my baby PLEASE I beg. The nurses come in and tell me that they have to take him away. "What do you mean, take him away?" I asked. "He has to be kept cold," they say. I had to send my son away to the cold harsh morgue. So when they bring my baby back to me he is no longer warm he is as cold as ice. But you see it has to be this way. He is dead.

The next 24 hours are a complete blur.
"Do you want an autopsy?"
"Is there anyone we can call?"
"Would you like a cremation or a burial?"
Phone is ringing, questions from family far away.
"What happened?"
"Are you ok?"

All I can do is let the tears fall. And they continue to fall. I dress my baby for his service. Caressing all his fingers and toes. Memorizing him. My mind not letting me realize this is the last time I will touch him. Then the time comes when I hand him to his father, who places him in the bassinet. He kisses his son on his head and lets him go. They wheel him away. His time with us is done.

Now over a year has passed.
How did I get through it?
I didn't.
I live it everyday.
I just do.


Author's Note:
Written for Andrew by his mum, Angela

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