Your passing has brought me such peace, little one.
Amid the gut-wrenching sadness I feel for your family, I am at peace.
It has been a two-and-a-half year journey of identity loss, self re-creation, and searching for something. . .more. I feel it now, the contentment I’ve desperately yearned for. And while I am unsure of my ability to pin it down forever, cloud-like as it is, it is here now, and it’s all because of you.
So that your death and the suffering of your parents is not in vain, I commit myself to my own children in a way I never have before.
I feel it already. I am more patient, more engaged, more playful, and more present than I’ve ever been. The depths of my feelings as a mother have intensified.
There was a time before your parents were married that our country united itself in the wake of a horrible tragedy. As the months passed though, that solidarity faded and all of our old pettiness, shallowness, and self-centeredness resurfaced.
In your honor, and out of respect for your mother, who befriended me when I was twelve and new in school, I will not let the same happen to me. I will not let convictions become mere lip service. I will think of you and ask myself how your mother, your father, and all the other parents of lost children would want me to love my children. What would their messages to me be?
The story of your short life and the strength of your family has spread far and wide. Six degrees of Thomas Behm, I’d say. None of us can know how many lives yours has touched.
I will be there on Saturday as your tiny, broken body is lowered into the ground. But your spirit will not be lost beneath that sandy Savannah soil–it will remain in the hearts of all who know your story. It will be passed down into the hearts of my children.
For you have made me a better mother.