Happy Birthday Jakob

I did an interview yesterday with a woman who will soon be celebrating her son’s birthday for the first time without him.

Nearly a year ago, the 2-year-old boy drowned in his backyard pool. He was resuscitated, but died hours later in the hospital.

I’ve never gone through a loss like that — the worst I’ve had to go through was the death of my grandparents and I was 8 when most of them passed away.

“I miss the way he used to say, ‘Mommy,’ ” she told me. “Jakob had an amazing soul and he was a beautiful child.”

The woman said the last year has been one of the hardest for her and her family. She said through going to see a counselor, medication and journaling she lives each day.

She has two daughters that will never know Jakob, but she said she has already vowed to teach them all about their big brother.

What I found amazing, though, is the way they’ll be celebrating the upcoming anniversaries.

If I had a loss like this woman, I don’t know how I would react. What I would do or how positive I would try to be.

This woman and her family, though, are trying to make the most of the pieces of their life that remain. For the boy’s third birthday, they’ll be inviting the entire community to release balloons into the sky.

I didn’t know Jakob, but I saw the hurt in his mother’s eyes. I stared at the picture of the brown-eyed boy smiling at the camera and I felt the loss.

So this is dedicated to Jakob, Happy Birthday.

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