I’ve already responded, but I kept on thinking about your story, about Henry. About how inadequate language becomes. What did I want want to hear from people? Nothing. Nothing they could have said would have diminished the pain after Ruthie. So I’ll tell you what I MEAN when I say I’m sorry for your loss.
I’m sorry for the Henry-sized hole in your heart that, while diminishing in pain with time, will never heal. I am sorry for the sorrow, the agony, the raw nerve that you will feel like for as long as you will feel like it. May you & your wife hold on to each other & find solace in each other, yet recognize that you each will grieve differently. Your children will be a constant source of joy & affirmation of life. And yet you will feel so sorry that they will grow up without their brother that it will feel like a shard of glass is lodged between the ventricles of your heart. The sharpness of that needle will fade, yet there irrationality of asking yourself, “What if Henry would have been alive now? They would have been this old together. They would have done this together. They would discovered this together. Argued about that.” This will never pass. Do your best not to dwell there, though, the regret can lead nowhere good.
The strange part is how untimely grief gets with time. With years it sneaks up on you, showing up either earlier or after the anniversary of the day. But one thing is absolute — your very DNA has now been altered.