Before Cora died, I felt bad for couples who lost children. My parent's first baby was stillborn at 21 weeks, my mother's mother's first baby died during labor and was stillborn. My father's parents had a little girl die a couple months before she turned 3. When I was 16 a little boy that I babysat died. I truly felt bad for all these families. I did.
But I didn't understand it. It wasn't something I truly felt (well, it came close with Kade because I love him so much from babysitting him his entire life).
Now, when I hear about someone's child dying, I feel it. I truly feel it. It takes me back to that emotional place, feeling like the world is falling apart around you and being completely helpless and alone. Now, I empathize.
Sometimes I wish I could go back. Sometimes I wish I could go back to thinking "I can't imagine what that would be like." But I can imagine, because I've been there. So now, I cry at even passing stories, like this one and this one. Before I would have felt bad, and thought "oh that's so sad." But this morning, reading the first one and watching the second, I cried the tears of a grieving parent. Tears that you can only cry if you've been there.