When a Brother Meets a Brother



“I will never forget the moment your heart stopped and mine kept beating.”                                                                                                           Angela Miller


I’d like to start by telling you a story. I want to tell you how it all began. Not with a death, but with a birth. A silent birth. He didn’t cry.


It was 2011, the month of August. Nineteen and a half weeks pregnant, I didn’t blink much when the bleeding first started. This is normal, I told myself. I’d bled plenty during my first pregnancy, and when all was said and done, had given birth to a happy, healthy baby boy.

But I think I paused–sharply?–when the cramps came. Wait…let me rephrase that. I meant, when the contractions came. Because I didn’t know that they were contractions. My first son, Julian, had been born by cesarean section, two weeks before he was due. I’d had no contractions before his birth, had no perceptions of what they even felt like, although, despite my fierce denial, I should have known what was happening when my “cramps” left me in a painful heap on the floor.

Fast forward to his birth, to his life: forty-eight minutes, to be exact. It was a life that, in my eyes, fought to stay. His legs kicked, his arms reached, his forehead wrinkled, and his tiny heart continued to beat for forty-eight unbroken minutes, all while we gently held him and watched. Because that was all that we could do, watch…and love. The ache I felt as his inevitable end grew near was unrecognizable to me, yet even then, somehow, I knew in my heart that we were…lucky. Lucky to have been given that time. Lucky to have had those fleeting forty-eight minutes to soak up every single detail of him. Because most parents who lose their children at birth have little to none.


It was the silence in the hospital room that night that most haunted me, the absence of noise, the ability to “hear a pin drop.” Nothing had ever prepared me for that shock. No one had warned me that because my son was coming too early, that he wouldn’t have the ability to cry. No one had told me that I would never hear my child “speak.”

Except that I did hear a child speak.


My first son, Julian, age three at the time of his brother’s birth. It was his beautiful sweet voice, saying…


He spoke tenderly, not yet knowing nor understanding that his new baby brother, Gabriel, was dead. Then, as my heart broke even further, I watched as Julian reached out to touch Gabriel’s cheek. “Hello,” he said, with a shy smile.

And I remember silently screaming…Why!!! I remember thinking, feeling, living and breathing the question “Why?” every single moment of every day and night for, God only knows how long, until I was finally too numb, too tired, too dead inside myself to question anything, anymore.




And that was the moment…maybe that was the moment, when I started to heal.



Thank you for “sharing” and “liking” any blog that moves you. Have a special day…♥

Photos via

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


awakeningwildflower Written by:


  1. Erin Bang-Knudsen
    November 10, 2017

    Beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing your story in such an honest and unique way.

  2. February 7, 2018

    Wow that was simply beautiful 😍

    • awakeningwildflower
      February 7, 2018

      Thank you…

    • awakeningwildflower
      March 2, 2018

      Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

  3. So so deeply sorry for your loss… so beautiful you can give full expression to it here….<3

    • awakeningwildflower
      March 2, 2018

      Thank you. I’ve found it so healing to be able to write my thoughts and memories down as time passes, giving myself permission to remember my children, to mourn them and to celebrate the gifts that each one gave me.

  4. March 2, 2018

    Hi, your story moved me to tears. I really appreciate your courage. Writing must have been quite a therapy for you.

    • awakeningwildflower
      March 2, 2018

      Yes, the truth is, I woke up one night at 3 a.m., 3 months after the death of my first child, and started writing letters to him as though he was still here. It made my grief worse at times, yet I know that in facing my thoughts and feelings in those letters, that I was healing and that I was bringing his life, that had ended, back to life on paper. Thanks for visiting 🙂

      • March 3, 2018

        Also, life has a way of helping us heal in some way and make us stronger

  5. March 12, 2018

    Your story is raw and heart-wrenching and beautiful and, and, I’m SO sorry… and I thank you for sharing this even as tears well up in my eyes. May you see your babies whole and alive and healed in heaven some day. <3

    • awakeningwildflower
      March 12, 2018

      What perfect words…I DO see my babies whole and alive and healed in heaven every day. I see them behind my eyelids when I close my eyes, and I hold each one of them in my heart. Thank you…

      • March 12, 2018

        That just broke me down even further thinking of you–all the way down to a place of resolution and relief, in the middle of all the sadness. Thank you for sharing that image. I think you have found the key to solace in great loss. God carry you and your babies forever. <3

  6. April 9, 2018

    What a touching story and even more so because your son got to see him and touch him, making it real for him. I could never write about my daughter’s loss but maybe I will. You inspired me. Thank you!

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 9, 2018

      Thank you. Shortly after my 2nd son died, I got up one night (couldn’t sleep) and just started writing and writing and writing. I ended up with a memoir, still unpublished, that went on for 2 years. What you see in my blog, some of it, comes from my memoir. It was an incredible tool for healing…without it, I had no outlet, so I highly recommend any art form as a means to let those emotions out. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by…

  7. April 20, 2018

    Very touching❤️. Thank you for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to move on. Hugs🙂

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 20, 2018

      Hugs back…and thank you for your thoughtful comment 🙂

  8. May 7, 2018

    I am so sorry for your loss. You told it very well. It has made me emotional.

    • awakeningwildflower
      May 7, 2018

      I’m sorry…I know what you’ve been through, what you’re going through. I send hugs and true understanding your way…

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