I don't know exactly when my sons died. I know the day but not the times. Sure, there is a time recorded on their death certificates but that is not it. Their deaths were not measured in terms of one final breath, but ever slowing heartbeats. I do know my very first glimpse of death was just hours after my first child's birth. I also know that I would have it no other way. If any of my children die, I want to be there, holding them if possible, until that moment passes. Although I can't pinpoint that moment in June 2003 or March 2011 on the days of my sons' births, I can feel it. If I close my eyes I can return to the hospital room...my vision adjusts to the dim lighting, I can smell their newness, listen to the near silence surrounding us and remember the awe that I felt every minute of their lives. There was a distinct before and after. Before left me in awe of every moment that passed and every minute detail which I could absorb. There was nothing but Wyatt, nothing but Eli. Between before and after was just a moment. Just one moment separates life from death. Somehow we knew when that moment passed and in that moment everything changed. I was like a video recorder that switched from record to playback. I knew the show was over but just had to watch it again. So many more memories were recorded in the after but they were different than the before. No less precious, just different.
I lived through my sons' deaths. I went from the moment before, to the one between and then the one after that. I live, I remember and I love.