To the Mother in the Red Shirt at Music Class

musicroom_tcm4-119705When my son walked over to you, staring at your beautiful baby boy, you asked him What do you want? My three-year-old boy did not take the triangle that you offered him. What is it that you want? you asked again reaching for a tambourine as he stared at you and your son processing how your baby moves and his sister did not.

The first time that my son saw a newborn after his sister, Mary Rose, died of trisomy 18 an hour after birth, he was startled when the baby girl moved her hands. Later in the car he said to me Our Mary Rose didn’t move.

Why do some babies go to heaven? he asks. Why do some babies live? God, the Gardener, plants the soul in the best garden for her soul I tell him. Mary Rose is doing her work in heaven. We are here doing our work on earth. I want to go to heaven, he says again. I want to be with my sister, Mary Rose.

Mother in Music Class, I’m sorry that my son made you feel uncomfortable. He is a little boy who knows unbearable loss and yet he bears it. Your son was moving and crawling and thriving. He doesn’t know much about the babies who live yet.