Friday, June 25, 2010


I want to pretend he's still here.

Ignore the reality.

I want to grab sunscreen and a little hat and his bottle filled with water so he won't dehydrate and lug him along to swim lessons, too.

I want to cover his ears at the fireworks.

I want to hush the kids so they won't wake him when it's that time of day for naptime.

I want to mash up some banana and see what he thinks and watch him spit it out.

I want to carry him out to the waterslide and watch the kids go down and let him feel the sprinkles on his toes.

I want to feel his chubby little self against my skin and kiss his head and cuddle him close.

I want to lay out his clothes on Saturday night, too.

I want to interrupt Friday night pizza prep to get him up from his nap.

I want to go check on him at night and pat his little bottom and whisper . . .sleep tight. . . see you in the morning. . . Mommy loves you. . . one more time.

I want to tell the 2011 camp registration lady that I have another child when she asks, just two kids?

I want to scream noooo when someone says Is everybody here?

I want to tickle him and hear his little chuckle.

I want to buy his little outfit for the cousin pictures we've been planning.

I want to hear him say Daddy.

I want to pretend he is still here.

But he isn't.

And to ignore the reality means. . .

to ignore this whole process of grief

to falter and fall

to sink

to surrender to the darkness

to turn my face away from the other realities that I have never been more sure of:

that Heaven is a real place

that my littlest man is there

that death cannot, cannot be the end of life

that God carries us when we can't go on.

I'm so thankful that I do not have to pretend that Gabe is with Jesus.

I know.


  1. You are right. Safe in Jesus' arms is exactly where he is. Praise God you have that hope.

    This list makes me hold my little ones tighter.

  2. I too am thankful that God carries us when we can't go on....thank you Hayley for continuing to write. You are a blessing I'm sure to several as you are finding a NEW normal. Love ya girl. Keep writing and keep letting that Big Daddy carry you when you can't go on.

  3. When asked, I tell everyone I have three boys, and that one is no longer with us. Don't hesitate Hayley. You have the most awesome way of putting your thoughts into words. I love reading what you have written. You are a blessing to all. God's peace be with all of you...and we are continuing the Novaks in our thoughts and prayers daily/nightly.
    Tom S

  4. This has been one of the hardest things for me, wondering whether I should force my grief on others or deny my child. Even after 3 years, I am erratic on how I respond to that question "how many children do you have?"
    I am a mother of seven.
    Six is not enough.
    There is one missing.

  5. My heart goes out to you, Hayley. I'm so very, very sorry...

    When I followed a link to your blog, I realized I recognized you from the long-ago King's Daughter days. will be in my thoughts and prayers.