By now, many of us has watched the heart wrenching video of a young father singing to his son born prematurely, who slips away as his tiny body cannot sustain his brief life. It reduces me to tears yet I keep watching it. Perhaps it is the beauty of his singing. Perhaps it is how eloquent human nature is captured for two-and-a-half minutes. Perhaps it is embracing the depth of love that comes from loss. It is a love unlike any other. We all have family- mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins- who we love. But only a few of us know the kind of love this man has displayed. His love is palpable. His love is unselfish. His love leaps over his own grief of losing his wife unexpectedly and the impending loss of his child.
This love is rare. It is fleeting. It is enormously painful, lonely, and special. The night Sophia died, Jason and I alternated holding her. We had an hour-and-a-half of this elusive love. The saddened pangs of anguish vanished as she breathed lightly against my chest. As Jason held her tenderly, his pride for having this child washed over the room. He smiled at her. He talked to her. And while he can’t sing, he made his own unique, private moments that only he will have. In watching him, I fully realized how exceptional of a man I married.
Without our moments with Sophia, I too would be an onlooker watching this man’s video thinking “how sad for him.” On the contrary, what he feels in those moments that are both difficult and easy, sorrowful and beautiful, life-halting and life-altering reawaken in me the moments I hold dearest. The grace of a father showing such strength and unconditional love in a hopeless situation is one of the darkest, most harrowing, yet poignant experiences one can witness. I only wish all of us who suffer losses could have husbands with the character this man carries. I am one of the lucky ones. Without Sophia, I wouldn’t even know it.
For a glimpse into this extraordinary love, I recommend watching this video © Chris Picco 2014.