Currently my office is smack dab in the middle of the living room.
Life revolves around my desk, quite literally.
It hasn’t always been that way. About 3 weeks ago, my desk was in a tiny bedroom at the end of our second floor hallway. It was one of the few places I had peace and quiet, but all that ended when my eight-month-old son kicked me out.
He needed his own bedroom where he couldn’t see us hiding under the covers, trying our best to look like lumps, so he would go back to sleep.
The time had come for the big move, and that meant I no longer had an office. At least, not until Sam finished the room in the basement that is destined to be an office. Until then, my desk is in the center of a three-ring circus called the living room.
It’s both conveniently located and painfully loud. It makes me miss my serene second floor office, but it’s more than that.
I miss the special connection I had to Silas in that room. It was his space before it was mine. When he died, we closed the door, unable to use the room for 6 months. It had become the-place-that-no-one-wanted-to-visit because it reminded us of Silas, and that felt like more than we could bear.
That’s when the decision was made: it would become my writing room. We boxed up and donated the last of the baby things with tears. We painted the walls baby blue and hung silky blue curtains.
It looked like a new space, but remarkably, it made me feel a connection to the son I lost. From where I sat at my new desk, I looked out the window at a towering tree, the same tree Silas saw from his bed. Four windows bathed his room with sunlight, the same light that surrounded my son when he lay immobile in his bed.
For four and a half years, I’ve sat and written tens of thousands of words in that room. Some of those words were part of my private grief journal. Some were for my public blog. All were part of my healing journey.
But now the time had come to change the room again. It would become my second son’s room, and another chapter would begin.
Sometimes we give up what we can no longer keep. Sometimes new babies make a place in our hearts beside the babies we lost.
One son doesn’t take the place of another—that is not how it works. The space in my heart is big enough for all my people—family, friends, babies—each person taking up his own place, but one never replacing another.
But moving my office felt symbolic, like leaving behind memories I didn’t want to fade. I would no longer sit and write where my son lay. I would no longer feel the warmth of sunshine on my face when I sat at my desk, the same sunshine that enveloped his helpless body.
Now my desk is gone and in its place sits a dresser with a changing table and a crib in the corner.
I rock my second son in that room, near the windows where Silas once lay.
These memories will form a new chapter in our family story. Change is bittersweet, but this one is born out of love.
Another chapter, one of hope and life, is being written in that room.