I sat next Matt in the ICU that night. We lived life in seconds, in short rapid breaths, in love. He held my index finger. He held my heart. And I begged him to hold on. I matched the rapid rhythm of his breath, the short palpitations, the gasping for air. On that night, what could have been our only night, we lived love’s infinite night.

Benjamin May 6 life is choiceMorning came and he was still alive. We had lived through the night. The aftermath of Lydia’s seizure had left her without the memory of his birth. She had almost died, but death did not come for her as it did not come for Matt that night. Yet, death came the night of his birth and laid in wait, waiting for another life to be born to die.

Bryan was born by cesarean two and a half months early. If we were to wait full term he would have been born to die. Still, his first night could have been his only night. I sat with Bryan in the ICU through the night. He held my heart as I begged him to hold on. Bryan lived through the night and once again we lived love’s infinite night.

Days passed and we lived. We did not know death did lived in wait. We knew Lydia, Matt and Bryan were sick. We knew something was wrong. Night shadowed us. Death waited. We didn’t know. We simply didn’t know.

What we knew was every moment was precious. The uncertainty of that first night of Matt’s life had left such an impression on me. It altered my entire world view. It changed what was important to me. Clarity came in the darkness of night that all that mattered was love.

I loved them. We came into existence together to love. They were my teachers. I raised my children and they raised me to a higher level of being. There is only one thing greater than being in love. That is being love.

Benjamin May 6 Love is Not an emotionI was in love with them. But when we found out that death, the silent one that lived in wait, was to wait no longer, I was taken to a place beyond being in love to that threshold of being love.

Love is not an emotion. Love is the nucleus of every emotion. Embedded in my anger there was love. Ricocheting throughout my fear, there was love. I hurt so deeply because I so deeply loved. I was in love with them and they were slowly dying in front of me, slipping away. We held each other in love as long as we could until we could hold on no longer.

At Bryan’s death I stood at the threshold between being in love and being love. I held a baby that was no longer Bryan. This child was no longer my child. The object of my love, my being in love had transcended love’s limitation and asked me, “Do you want to live love’s infinite night? If you do, you must let go of being in love and be love.”

Life is choice. I could stay cemented in a moment where I was in love or I could follow moment into being love. I could see my child’s death as the end of us, or the beginning of a new us. It was Bryan that led me into the expanse of love’s infinite night.

I found refuge in my infinite night. I miss so much of being in the loving embrace of Bryan, Lydia and Matt. I loved being in a day with their laughter, their stories, their preciousness. But that is no longer. They are no longer. I am no longer. We are no longer in this day. I live now in love’s infinite night.

I sorrow in my finiteness. What was so precious to me feels so far away. The last time I was able to hold any of them was so long ago.

I had to let go of who they were to hold who they are; and I had to let go of who I was to hold who I am.

Benjamin May 6 One more conversationThe agony of separation is that they are no longer confined to this body, this name, or this place and I am. I am here yearning to be in love, yearning for one more day, one more conversation, one more kiss. I am here and those once called Lydia, Matt and Bryan are not. I am in love but incapable of sharing that love. In my confinement I reach through the bars of time and space, but my reach does not go far enough.

Lydia and I put Bryan in the casket ourselves, in love. The one once called Bryan was present in the room. I could feel pure love. I knew that love. I found it in the ICU the night Matt was born. I experienced again in the ICU when Bryan was born. It became clear to me in the room of Bryan’s death that it was once again the unfolding of love’s infinite night.

The day of Bryan’s birth is in seven days. There is an internal clock that is set within me that begins the seventh day before the first day and before the last day. I don’t know why. It just is.

I no longer revisit the ICU where we started so much in love. I do not return to the smells, the anxious moments, the desperate pleas, the sounds of chaos that filled the room or the sounds of confusion that filled my heart. There is no need. For today I carry what I carry every day – love’s infinite night.

I will stand watch not remembering what was, but living what is. Bryan transcended love and in so doing offered me the same. We went from being in love to being love. We share something far deeper than words can describe. In my Rose Ceremony, the first petal I will kiss on Bryan’s birthday will honor the gift life gave me in that ICU of what it means to be love, to be in love’s infinite night.

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