Odd title, huh?  Well you will soon understand the meaning behind this title.  After we lost Jude, friends and family put Jude’s things away before we got home.  Toys, car seat, high chair, baby bottles…..pretty much all that would remind us of Jude when we would walk through the doors of our home.  I don’t know if this was the right thing for them to do or not, but I do know they were trying to ease our hurt and all they did came out of love.  Over the last 3.5 years, I have slowly gone through his things and dispersed them to others.  The pain that comes along with going through you dead baby’s belongings is beyond the expression of words.  Each step of this journey in child loss has been so hard, gut wrenching, and heart breaking.  I had one last thing I had not dealt with and dreaded even looking at it……THE HIGH CHAIR!!  It was put up in our attic, by I do not know who and there it has stayed to collect dust.  That high chair was the last place Jude sat in this house, a happy, “healthy”, normal baby boy.  That damn high chair is what set off the string of events that led to his death.  I accidentally pinched his finger with that highchair, and that is the moment our life took a jackknife, out of control turn.  We had know idea how sick our baby boy was, until he had his little finger pinched and he took in a deep breath to cry out in pain and quit breathing.  His PVS and Pulmonary Hypertension were so bad that he did not have any reserve in his little lungs to handle a cry like the one he tried to have, after his finger was pinched.  So this high chair that I had in my attic, looming over my head, has often haunted my thoughts many times over the years.  Over the weekend, I decided it was time to face my fear of that highchair and the emotions I knew would come with it.  Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to continue down this awful journey called child loss.  I took that high chair down from the attic and tears welled up in my eyes the moment I saw it.  The memory flood gates opened of that terrible day, as I knew they would…I was ready and I had given myself a pep talk.  I allowed myself to go down memory lane and I cried A LOT!!  I then began to remember all the good times Jude had in that highchair, that is where he learned to eat and where he would sit and watch his crazy big brothers run around.  He would also get pushed around the house by his brothers, while in the high chair (it had wheels).  He watched many Mickey Mouse episodes in that highchair.

I began to clean the high chair up so we could pass it along.  It still had food in the seat….stale cheerios, smashed blueberries (i think), and so many crumbs.  These were some of the last foods Jude ate in our home and in this high chair.  I know all of this talk may sound odd to some of you, but those that have lost a child will relate!!  As I wiped the chair down and washed the seat cover, I cried…..I could barely see through my tears.  The boys came through the family room and saw the chair and saw me crying.  They both came and gave me a hug and sat on the floor and watched.  They did not know we still had the highchair.  They were so sweet to ask questions and just sit with me while I cleaned it…..they knew mamma was sad and hurting.  All this to say, THE HIGH CHAIR is no longer in our home….it is sad but it is also a relief to have faced it and dealt with that part of this journey.  It was the last of Jude’s things and it was hard to let go of but it was necessary for this mamma.  Here is a picture of the high chair and Jude in it:

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7 thoughts on “That Damn High Chair

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart and helping us to remember sweet Jude. And for allowing us to learn about the grief of losing your child. In the midst of your devastating pain, you are a wonderful Mother, friend, and teacher. We love you and miss Jude dearly.

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  2. I know that had to have been so hard, Jess. You have so much strength in that heart of yours. I love you and miss that baby face. ❤️

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  3. A friend sent me this article. I can definitely relate. We lost our 7 year old this past Christmas (which also happens to be my wife’s birthday). We aren’t to the point of relieving ourselves of anything that was his, and right now I can’t even imagine doing it. His unopened Christmas gifts still sit there where our Christmas sat just 7 months ago.

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    1. Oh David…I am so sorry to hear this about your son. My heart breaks with yours. You keep those gifts there forever if you want to!! Everyone has thier own grief journey, even between spouses (mom and dad). My husband and I have grieved totally different. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I want others to know that this road is not traveled alone, although you feel alone alot of the time. Prayers for you and your family!!

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  4. I am so sorry that you had to endure another encounter with the past. I totally understand your grief. The range of emotions are overwhelming and uncontorllable. As you know, I lost my 3 grandsons. A couple weeks ago, my daughter opened their hope chest to show me something……. Oh my…. I tried to hold my composure but the tears just wouldn’t stop, my throat hurt so bad like someone had me in a choke hold. Trying not to upset my daughter, I had to fake it to make it. Life has so many challenges, and I, like you, find this to be one of the most difficult. I don’t have the answers to the many questions that occupy my mind about this. But what I do know, as hard as it may be, that God is the man with the plan and maybe someday in time, I’ll be able to understand the reasoning behind it. Sometimes faith is all we need…when that’s all we have.

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