What Might Have Been {Contributor Post}

This post is shared with us from AnnMarie Gubenko, otherwise known as The Queen of Chaos. It originally appeared on her blog the Queen of Chaos on April 7, 2013. Thank you so much AnnMarie for sharing this post and for contributing to our book Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother.


Today Rocco would have been 5 years old. I don’t know for sure if this would have been his birthday since it was only my due date but it is the only date that I have. That’s not entirely true. I have the date I delivered him but I hate that date. That date doesn’t remind me of what could have been. That date is all about feeling my heart break in a million pieces. I am crabby around that date. Today, in the quiet of my room, I allow myself to be sad. Not for long and not enough that my kids or Leo feel it but quietly, I think of these things:

This date makes me think of a little boy with blond hair and green eyes that won’t get to be tucked in tonight.

This date makes me think of not dropping that little boy off at preschool tomorrow morning.

It makes me think of the little boy I won’t get to cuddle with and say, “Today, you are 5! You are getting too big!”

It makes me think of little league games I will miss.

It makes me think of how I won’t get to hug that little 5-year-old and smell that little boy smell (you know the one that smells like a wet dog) after he plays catch with Leo in the back yard.

It makes me wonder what being a mom of 5 kids feels like.

It makes me think of a little brother that would adore his two big brothers, be mothered by his older sister and be bothered by his little sister.

Or would they be best buds playing Legos and pretend animal games or super hero games?

Would Gia be a different kind of child if she had a sibling closer to her age?

Would I be a different kind of mom if Rocco lived?

Do I miss him? That is hard to say because he was never here.

I miss the idea of him. I live with a lot of “might have beens” and that hurts.

Sometimes I dream of him. Or at least I assume it’s him. A little blond boy with green eyes that looks like Tommy.

I hope I dream of him tonight and I hope I get to tell him that I love him because I do and I wish I could give him a hug and a kiss after I told him, “Happy Birthday.”

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  1. Shit. Ouch.

    I’ve been having a week like that, and it sucks. Last weekend should have been my due date for my second neverborn. The weekend before was the 1 year anni of losing my first.

    Incredible, really, how much pain the human heart can go through and still keep going.

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful, raw, painful, brutal post. Your voice needs to be heard.


    • I’m sorry that you are having one of those weeks. Big hugs to you! All of these dates that should mean something else and instead they are reminders of our broken hearts. Thank you for your sweet words.

  2. AnnMarie, this breaks my heart. I’m sorry you have to endure Rocco’s loss. I wish there was something I could do for you so I’ll say a prayer that you have your dream and find some comfort in it.

    • I’ll take that prayer! Writing about Rocco was a great way to make sure he put his stamp on this world…that he was here and was loved. When he shows up in my dreams, it is so awesome. 🙂

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