I saw the handle of a carseat on the way home today. If you are like most people, I don’t suppose that would bother you too much. I doubt it would even register in your head that you had glimpsed it – a non-event. Most people would keep on driving without giving it a second thought.

But I guess I’m not “most people” anymore. My baby girl died six weeks ago. Well, 5 weeks, 6 days, 1 hour, and 29 minutes to be exact (not that I’m keeping track or anything). My soul has been branded by death, and the ugly scar that remains is both permanent and crippling. All that nonsense about time healing, and getting back to normal was obviously made up by someone who has never been seared by this particular pain. It will never go away, and I will never be whole again. There is a piece missing from my heart, and from my life. No amount of time or therapy will change that.

For me that carseat handle represents everything that has been snatched out of my hands and out of my life. My baby will never get to ride in her carseat again. I will never get to latch those hated buckles over her little chest again. She will never fall asleep on a long trip again. We will never get to whine about lugging her around in it again. And we will never, ever get to see her grow out of her infant carseat.

Below all the carseat handles in all those other cars are living, breathing babies. And driving them around are the lucky parents who have probably never heard the sizzle of the brand coming at them. Thank God for that. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But please take a moment as you’re wrestling with your own baby’s carseat to remember the empty one that is now sitting in my garage, and how grateful you should be that yours is not.

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