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What 'This Is Us' Got Right About the Pain of Child Loss

Last night I watched the premier of the new television show “This Is Us.” I knew before watching the show that there would be a trigger for me: the loss of a baby. I was prepared for that. However, I was not prepared for how well this show would handle the loss of that baby and how profound that moment would be.

The loss of a child is terrible and one of the worst things that can happen to a parent. Television shows do not always do a good job representing the pain of loss, but “This Is Us” nailed it right on the head, and as a result had viewers in tears.

“I have spent five decades delivering  babies, more babies than I can count, but there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of the child I lost and I’m an old man now. I like to think that because of the child I lost, because of the path that he sent me on, that I have saved countless other babies. I like to think that day maybe one day you’ll be an old man like me, taking another man’s ear off explaining to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade. If you can do that, you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital, maybe not the way you had planned.” — Dr. K (Gerald McRaney) on “This Is Us”

My son died four and a half years ago, but there is not a single day I do not think of him. I think of him when I walk by the toy car aisle in the store, I think about him when I see a newborn baby boy, I think about him when I see a little boy who might be about his age now. I think about him when I hug and kiss my daughter goodnight. I think about him when I see my husband smile, feeling certain, yet at the same time still wondering if our son would have had his smile.

Life gave me and my husband the sourest lemon that life has to offer, but we have spent the last few years trying to make something resembling lemonade out of that lemon.

When we had to leave the hospital without our son, I did not know how life was ever going to be the same. Well, life has not ever been the same. Robby changed us, and he set us on a path that has led to us helping other families who lose of a child. We certainly aren’t saving babies, but we are trying to ease the pain of families who are facing the tragedy of child loss. Robby did not physically go home with us that day, but just like Dr. K said, we did bring him home from the hospital, just not the way we had planned.

We brought Robby home in our hearts, and that is where he lives.

Taking this sour lemon and trying to make something resembling lemonade does not mean we don’t miss our little boy. We miss him fiercely. It just means we are trying to make something positive out of such a terrible situation.

Photo via the “This is Us” Facebook page