When people ask me how many kids I have, I usually find myself strong enough to say five. It is really difficult to say anything else and I usually find myself crying or feeling sick from the guilt when I answer three.
I have two living, one stepchild, and my two angels in heaven.
When someone hears the part about my two in heaven, they usually clam up and try to change the subject. Fine, I get it.
For some of my family, it’s clear they forget to acknowledge that my two angel babies count towards the family statistics too.
Today, I feel brave enough to ask – Please don’t forget them.
I have five children.
You have five nieces and nephews.
You have five grandkids.
You have five cousins.
You have four siblings.
As my living children learn and grow, they’ll know their two angel siblings and they will learn to count them in. They will learn to celebrate their birthdays and mourn their days of passing with us as a family. I wish for our family and friends to expect this and join in with us to celebrate that those two children exist.
I know I can’t expect people to always understand my pain and grief. But I simply ask, just acknowledge their existence, count them in, recognize they are part of the family too – even in their absence.
And to the families grieving beside us – my message to you is to allow yourself to create this conversation with your loved ones if you want. Don’t feel judged or ‘weird’ for wanting this. Your children, all of them, matter. All my love.