In the days that followed the loss of Jude, people; friends and family alike, in their desperate attempt to grant me comfort, often whispered to me “he’s your angel now – he’s in heaven – a better place”. At first, those words did bring some level of comfort, but the more they were repeated to me, the more I wondered; “Is he really? Is he in a better place?”
To me it seemed strange, that people would assume that heaven would be a better place for my son, than my arms. Than the arms of one of the two people he had only known his entire life. I do vividly remember the time my husband and I spent with Jude in the hours that followed his tragic arrival. I remember thinking that my baby boy had just gone down a different path – one that would lead him to this so called “better place” where he would not know anyone. Where he would travel the path alone. Now the catholic girl within me would remind me that he would not be alone, but in that moment, to me, he was alone. So, unknowingly already practicing my maternal instincts, I whispered to Jude, all of the names of the people that he should search for when he arrived in heaven. I told him to look for his grandfather, his cousins, his great grandfather and of course, my beloved grandmother who would surely be there, anxiously waiting to scoop him up into her arms. In that moment, that was what brought me comfort.
In the months that followed, I would again be periodically reminded by the phrase; “he’s in heaven, in a better place”. The illusion that accompanied that statement was that Jude was delighted to be there. That he was happy. That he preferred there instead of here on earth, with the love of his parents. But what if he didn’t prefer it? What if he wasn’t happy? In fact, what if he was just as miserable, sad and feeling as alone as we were? What if even being surrounded by all of those people that I encouraged him to meet, he still felt abandoned. Felt like a lost boy.
The thought of my little boy, feeling sad, lonely and lost in the place where everyone expected him to be happy, devastated me. It made me feel even more like a failure somehow. Until my ears heard the beautifully talented voice of young Ruth B and the soothing innocently pure lyrics of her debut single, “Lost Boy”.
The lyrics of “Lost Boy” brings to the forefront the journey of a boy who is introduced to the classic character, Peter Pan. With this introduction, a sense of belonging and acceptance is explored as he travels to Neverland and is self proclaimed as a “Lost Boy”.
“Soon enough we reached Neverland, Peacefully my feet hit the sand”
As I listened carefully to the talented scribed lyrics of this young artist, the above lyric, got hold of my heart and embraced me in comfort. My little boy was not alone. He was not abandoned. He was not scared. He was a Lost Boy – a Lost Boy of Neverland.
Neverland. Where Lost Boys run free. Seek adventure. Play. Explore. Laugh. Find love. Find a home.
It may not be the home that I planned for or wanted for him. But it’s a home. And by definition, a home is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” So if I had to choose an alternative “home” for Jude, I can’t think of a better place then Neverland. Neither of his parents live there, but I know that there, he has found a home and a family, even if it’s just Peter Pan.
“Neverland, I love you so, You are now my home sweet home Forever a lost boy at last”
Like most recently released debut artist singles, the radio waves will pick up the single and repeatedly play it. I catch myself adorning the song and its talented artist. An instant reminder of my sweet Jude – connecting my heart to his. Sometimes it brings me tears of joy, sometimes tears of sorrow. Sometimes, it brings a touch of a happiness, but always, always a touch of comfort.
“Neverland is home to lost boys like me And lost boys like me are free”
Comfort in knowing that my baby boy, Jude, can find his very own place as a lost boy in Neverland.