Living after Death

At the age of 8 weeks, a developing baby's facial features are visible and his heart is beating steadily. Even at this early age they already posses the two qualities that are most vital to human existence: identity and health. It is said that having a baby is the greatest joy a human can experience. As humans we seek to raise a child in order to fulfill our lives by knowing we influenced a person's life and shaped them into the kind of people they would grow up to be. Still, we do not often consider how a child may shape us.

I could not be mad at her. Did she really think I would be angry? I had wanted a baby sibling my whole life and I was finally getting one; I found no problem with that. I was elated; for days it was all I could think and talk about. Millions of corny sibling bonding scenarios were already forming in my head. I would be the big sister, 16 years bigger and I had already announced this was going to be my baby, my pride and joy. So fittingly my mom honored me with naming him. After extensive research I, chose Aiden meaning "little fire".

The future was promising and the world seemed to have taken favor on me until I came home from school that day. I could tell something was wrong as soon as I stepped into my driveway. My dad was home early, something he never did. My home was invisibly mangled. There were no lights, no sounds, and no life. Our usually bustling kitchen was silent and I found a bundle of bloodstained clothes in the bathtub. Something had happened to him, I knew it. The tears were already stinging before I even knew what.

Ectopic, taking literally means "out of place". When put in the context of pregnancy it describes a situation in which the fetus begins to grow in the fallopian tube as opposed to the uterus. There is neither enough space nor nutrients for a baby to grow there. Furthermore if it continues to develop in the fallopian tube it could rupture the organ in which it resides. In all cases ectopic pregnancy leads to miscarriage. It took emergency surgery to save my mother's life and destroy my brother's.

It was a pain like I had never experienced. Having never lost someone close to me, this was my first encounter with death. The worst part was he died before he lived. I cursed God for taking him from us and for a long time lost all faith. I fell deep into a depression and refused everything from food to compassion. To me no one understood. People would tell me that I never even met him, and that I couldn't let this bring me down. I responded that they had never met God and yet religion rules the world. I was focused on my pain and I shot back at anyone who would try to help. It was that kind of thinking that didn’t allow me to pull myself out of the hole I had dug. Concentrating on the negative, I couldn't even consider the positive. Was this the kind of role model I had wanted to be for Aiden?

No. It took me a while to regain my faith, my optimism, and my regular eating habits, but I realized it was for the best. Had he been born, I would have strived to be the most excellent role model in his life. However I realized he was still watching me, and I had no reason not to continue being that role model. Even though he wasn’t born, I still loved him, and I realized maybe that is what he was meant to do: shape me into a better person. With his passing I came to know that life is precious , that I am lucky to be alive and for every moment he didn’t get to live, I would live double. I take all opportunities I am presented, I find beauty in simple things, and I give life all I've got because after all we only get one, and it is meant to be lived to the fullest. Ironically enough, I owe this zest for life to someone who never lived. My Aiden: the "little fire" that ignited my life.





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