• Jen Chappell

What My New Neighbors Don’t Know



Today we move into our brand new house, a day we have been waiting for for months ! With the excitement, also comes dread. Grief. The constant feel of a missing piece. The feeling of moving forward and not wanting to because someone isn’t coming with us.


When the new neighbors see us, there’s so much they don’t know.


My neighbors don’t know that there should be a 2 1/2 year old moving in with us.


The neighbors don’t know what we went through years ago.


They don’t know about the day we carried a memory box home instead of a baby.


They don’t know that I’m carrying that same memory box into our new house, along with things I’ve collected for him over the years.


They don’t know that his footprints are all we have.


They don’t know about my old neighbors who saw me pregnant every day, until one day I came home from the hospital and wasn’t anymore.


They don’t know about those same neighbors who rallied around us and helped carry us through the worst tragedy of our lives.


They don’t know that the 8 & 5 year old moving in know way more about death and funerals than any 8 & 5 year old ever should.


They don’t know that the 10 month old will grow up in a house where she is the fourth child, not the third.


They don’t know when we are taking a family walk, that there are supposed to be four kids instead of the three they see. One wobbly little boy on a paw patrol bike isn’t there.


They don’t know our family should need five bedrooms instead of four.


They don’t know that my son had a room in our old house, but not in our new house, and that breaks this momma’s heart.


They don’t know that my brand new washer and dryer is doing less laundry than it should be doing.


They don’t know that my sons grave is closer to my new home than my old home, and that helps me panic a tiny bit less.


They don’t know that it’s a relief to not have to drive by the funeral home every day, to not have to catch my breath each time I see it.

They don’t know why there is a whale bumper sticker on my car.


They also don’t know how we carry our son with us, even though he isn’t physically here.

They don’t know that we love MORE than we ever thought we could, because we’ve known loss.


They don’t know that our lives our richer because we knew him.


They don’t know that we are better equipped to handle and understand hurting people, because we ourselves have been hurt.


They don’t know that they will soon learn of our angel boy, because he is very much a part of our lives.

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