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He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier.

“Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.”

A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.”

No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew bunked all snug just below him, who shared the same umbilical cord and blood vessels with him, and who passed away under medical care at around 22 weeks gestation.

RELATED: Thank You For Not Forgetting My Child Who Died

He experienced his death and his mother’s grief. He experienced a mother who dealt with extreme grief, postpartum depression, and PTSD well beyond the regular one-year mark, and he survivedand thrivedthrough it.

Although innately strong-willed, he’s by all means a very securely attached, lovable, smart, athletic, goofy boy. He has brought immense joy to our lives. Also, for as long as he’s been able to talk and communicate, his parents and older siblings have talked to him about his sweet baby brother in Heaven because there’s no doubt his death left a biological and physiological footprint on his journey into this world.

When he came into our room with his little teddy bear, I took the picture down, and as we held each other both weeping, it occurred to me that his newly acquired grief was part of my healing.

For the first time, the only other human being who knew his brother as intimately as his momma was grieving alongside her, and it was an altogether beautiful thing.

RELATED: Twin Loss Splits a Mother’s Heart in Two

Seeing your child’s heart break is an added grief to twin loss, no doubt. The mental wear and tear over the yearshow my brain has tried to process my body being a watery grave for one child and a well-spring of life for another for 13 weeks has been utterly awful and verbally inexplicable.

Now, when I hold my boy in his grief, in his sadness, in his miraculous ability for the first time in his life to put words to the “missing” that causes some of his behaviors, there is a biological, spiritual, and emotional healing I can’t put into words.

What a messy, broken, awful thing we’ve been through, and we have absolutely not handled it well all of the time or kept it together or walked the road of least resistance by any means. But we’re still walking the road, and we’re holding each other and our Sovereign God tightly along the way.

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Crystal Fulmer

I am a mother of three biological children and an adopted sibling set of three, a homeschooler, a pastor's wife, a former teacher, and a group-home houseparent. I am a trauma and mental illness survivor. I love to write for encouragement, and I've been finally been convinced to write and publish a book, The Grace of Getting Up, now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, and Westbow Press online bookstore. Please join me on this journey on FB or insta @thegraceofgettingup.

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