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A Father’s Love

By now, many of us has watched the heart wrenching video of a young father singing to his son born prematurely, who slips away as his tiny body cannot sustain his brief life. It reduces me to tears yet I keep watching it. Perhaps it is the beauty of his singing. Perhaps it is how eloquent human nature is captured for two-and-a-half minutes. Perhaps it is embracing the depth of love that comes from loss. It is a love unlike any other. We all have family- mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins- who we love. But only a few of us know the kind of love this man has displayed. His love is palpable. His love is unselfish. His love leaps over his own grief of losing his wife unexpectedly and the impending loss of his child.

This love is rare. It is fleeting. It is enormously painful, lonely, and special. The night Sophia died, Jason and I alternated holding her. We had an hour-and-a-half of this elusive love. The saddened pangs of anguish vanished as she breathed lightly against my chest. As Jason held her tenderly, his pride for having this child washed over the room. He smiled at her. He talked to her. And while he can’t sing, he made his own unique, private moments that only he will have. In watching him, I fully realized how exceptional of a man I married.

Without our moments with Sophia, I too would be an onlooker watching this man’s video thinking “how sad for him.” On the contrary, what he feels in those moments that are both difficult and easy, sorrowful and beautiful, life-halting and life-altering reawaken in me the moments I hold dearest. The grace of a father showing such strength and unconditional love in a hopeless situation is one of the darkest, most harrowing, yet poignant experiences one can witness. I only wish all of us who suffer losses could have husbands with the character this man carries. I am one of the lucky ones. Without Sophia, I wouldn’t even know it.

For a glimpse into this extraordinary love, I recommend watching this video © Chris Picco 2014.

Tissues required.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “A Father’s Love

  1. I am grateful you wrote about this. I’ve known about that video for a while but I cannot watch it. I have willed myself not to. Not this week. Not for the next few weeks while I am in this fragile place filled with worry. I love that this video has given you insight into your relationship and the deep love you share with your husband – an awareness you count among Sophia’s many gifts. I wish you and your husband so much peace.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I understand how difficult it is to watch, and that for some of us it is impossible to do so without breaking the spirit we work so hard to build. My husband sent me the link saying he thought I would like to watch it, but couldn’t get himself to quite yet. I had already seen it at that point, but had complete respect for his decision to wait until he was ready. Once my post went up, he did watch it. The Slate article from which my husband sent it to me argued it was “voyeuristic” and showed how as a society we like to watch a good train wreck. I hope my blog shows otherwise. Even for those of us who cannot watch it quite yet, it has much more meaning than the Slate writer seems to understand. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have such strong feelings about it. Some of us wouldn’t have to will ourselves to wait until we were in a better place to watch it while others watch it repeatedly just to feel that glimpse of a painful love again. As always, best wishes on your journey. Thank you for continuing to read.

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