This photo represents a lot of emotion. It was taken as part of our observance of Gracie's first birthday on August 1st. So that, by itself, is enough to make me feel a little down. It is not the kind of family picture that we should have had from Gracie's first birthday celebration. I am also a little sad that we could not get a picture of the entire family...someone had to run the camera, and for this picture, it was my hubby.
The guy in the green and blue shirt standing next to me is Jeff's younger brother. Right now my heart breaks for him in a way that I cannot describe. The girl next to him on the end (in the blue) is his wife. Two weeks ago, on September 22nd, she attempted to end her life. Ultimately, she was successful, as she was declared as being without brain activity less than 48 hours later. This was completely unexpected. Just like baby loss, this is something that you never expect to happen within your family. It's something that happens in other families...to other people.
My brother-in-law is completely heartbroken and lost, and for now stuck in that land of surreality that we all know so well. Just as he does not truly understand the pain that we experienced in losing Gracie, I cannot pretend to know or understand the pain and helplessness that he is feeling...but I do know that he, like us, has suffered an inconsolable loss. His loss is one that Jeff and I cannot imagine walking through, and ours is one that he cannot imagine walking through. Even if his finds another partner in life, he will carry the weight and pain of this loss with him for the rest of his days, and there will certainly be a piece of his heart that never mends.
Although there was a 'silver lining' of sorts, in the fact that she was a Gift of Life donor and many, many different organs and tissues were able to be gifted to others in need and save several lives, my heart aches in ways that I cannot explain for my BIL and for his wife's mother (she was an only child, which absolutely compounds the loss for her). Knowing that they are more or less inconsolable at this point makes me incredibly sad.