A Pair of Pachyderms

Five years ago I lost a son but gained an elephant. A big, huge elephant that sat parked smack-dab in the center of my living room when people came over to visit.

There was no seeing around it. No looking over or under it. It sat there unavoidable. We all knew it was there. Yet people chose to ignore it.

I had lost a son. My heart was broken. And people didn’t know what to say.

Who can blame them really? I wouldn’t have known what to say. I’ve buried a child and yet I still stumble over what to say to grieving family members when walking through a funeral line.

I wrote about that elephant and how it felt to have others elephantavoid my son’s death on my blog.

A couple days later the cutest yellow plaid elephant with paisley colorful ears showed up on my doorstep.

One of my friends who truly knew how it felt to bury a baby had sewn and delivered it. It warmed my heart.

We kept it out for a long time in our living room – a symbol of my lost Luca.

I don’t remember exactly when I packed it up, but eventually I put it in one of the plastic totes I have of Luca’s belongings. There it stayed until a couple of weeks ago when I reopened the tote.

I took out the padded yellow elephant with its ivory-colored eyes and knot-ended tail and put it on the bench in our hallway.

That’s when it gained a friend.

twin elephantsI looked at the bench one day to find that a blue fluffy buddy was sitting next to the yellow elephant. They sat close. Later that day they had moved to the right side of the bench. Then even later to the left.

My 2-year-old had found a friend for his blue pudgy elephant.

I bought the bright blue elephant for my now 2-year-old before he was even born. I was terrified to buy anything for him, my rainbow baby, but I needed to spend a few more dollars on a toy website in order to qualify for free shipping so I clicked that little elephant into my cart. I remember wondering if he’d ever get to play with it. Would he live to see it?

Thank heavens he did. He has really taken to playing with it recently.

Like a couple of weeks ago when he packed it around with its new yellow friend.

I smiled all day long as I watched him play with the two elephants and place them in different spots around the house.

Call me crazy, but it felt like my youngest son was connecting symbolically with his older angel brother. He was playing elephants with his elephant.

My heart was full.

Who knew that a pair of stuffed pachyderms could make me so happy? One a symbol for loss, the other hope united by a sweet little boy who knew nothing of their significance.

I hope to see them moving around the house again soon.

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