tw:-child-death

Too Young

Young Dean Winchester Soulmate AU “What if as a child you feel the loss of your soulmate?”

Triggers: child death, seizure, hit and run

Dean was only four when the pain in his stomach was so bad, he couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. He couldn’t be the “big boy” that John urged him to be everyday of his little life.

Doubled over in agony, Dean cried in anguish. John called the paramedics, but Dean ran from the house; he had to be a big boy, he had to overcome the pain.

John grabbed his baby son, Samuel, and found Dean having a seizure on the front lawn. Unable to put his infant son down, he called out for help, and neighbors came rushing to his aide.

Once the paramedics arrived they assessed Dean’s tiny body, his seizure caused by the body’s temperature rising too high. They noticed what looked like rug burn on his back and chest and John admitted that he hadn’t noticed anything until Dean started to complain of a stomach ache.

Two towns over the local police arrived at a crime scene of a hit and run, a five year old girl found deceased on the side of the road.

Photos of the deceased girl were sent via text to the Lawrence P.D. that were stationed with the paramedics at the Winchester’s property.

Her chest showed similar markings to what were now fading on Dean’s chest. His stomach pains were dissipating as well.

YN YLN was pronounced dead at 12:26 a.m. the same time Dean’s stomach ache and rash disappeared. It was only years later that they discovered YN was Dean’s soulmate and what he was feeling was the impact of the car hitting her tiny frame and her last breaths.

Originally posted by captainbradbury

2

[Trigger warning for child death]

Hearing about the death of a child is enough to make even the most cold-hearted person upset. Peter Connelly was a 1-year-old boy from London, England who was brutally murdered by the hands of his mother, her boyfriend, and two other suspects. Due to the sensitivity of the case, the youngster was only ever referred to as ‘Baby P’ or ‘Child A’ by British media.

Over the course of 8 months, Peter suffered more than 50 documented injuries. Shockingly, the NHS never became suspicious of the various bruises and head traumas. It was only until a social worker noticed huge bruises on his tiny body that the authorities became involved. In August 2007, Peter was seen by a paediatrician who somehow failed to notice that his spine and neck were severely fractured. A day later, he was found dead in his cot. An autopsy revealed that he had choked on a tooth after being punched in the mouth by his stepfather, Steven Barker. The child’s fingers were also mutilated, with his fingernails being ripped off.

A murder investigation was immediately launched, and Peter’s mother was arrested. When the family home was searched, the police found rat holes, dog faeces and the body of a mutilated rabbit that was strewn across the house in a gruesome fashion. Relatives of Steven Barker described him as a sadist, who would torture and kill Guinea Pigs and had an obsession with Nazi memorabilia. It seemed that Barker moved onto torturing this innocent young child without any remorse or guilt, and his neglectful mother allowed it to happen. Despite committing such horrible crimes, little Peter’s murderers were released into the public and only ever faced 6 year sentences.

Poor Anne [Frank], a lovely unwitting victim of what seems like a syndrome, a paradigm into which survivors and victims of the death camps are fitted. A syndrome of the world’s horrid lust for normalization—for seizing the tragedy of an innocent Holocaust victim and recasting it as inspiration—a tribute to God and human nature, not an exemplum of their criminality. Another spiritual hijacking to avoid disturbing the Christian world, troubling Christian civilization about its crime. No need for anger, let’s look for the inspiration!
—  Ron Rosenbaum

butlerbookbinding  asked:

WISE MOTHER OF TUMBLRS, A QUESTION! A friend of mine is expecting her first child, henceforth known as the tater, and was looking into getting a Saje aromtherapy diffuser, the Aroma Fairy, for said tater, to use as part of the bedtime routine, she's had good results with Saje for herself. Do you have any pro-tips, things to avoid, or general OH GOD, NO DON'Ts for her? She wants to make sure she's not doing anything dangerous. Many thanks, and also I must try the salty bread now!

Iiiii, am always unhappy about letting essential oils anywhere near baby, even if it’s in an air diffuser. The reason being their little airways are so much more readily irritated than our own, and some oils (particularly anything in the menthol family) can cause respiratory distress and even death in infants if paralysis sets in. In fact I wouldn’t actually let any essential oils near a child under the age of ten because they are still at risk from severe respiratory distress (not to mention possible chemical burns or gradual skin sensitivity from over exposure), regardless of whether they have an acute allergy or not. I had a friend who lost her seven year old daughter to a home made menthol rub. Poor mite suffocated to death in her arms on route to the hospital. And this was a friend who was a qualified aromatherapist. She just…didn’t think it would ever happen to her…

I also have a midwife/nurse friend who won’t even let children under the age of ten use vicks vapor rub because there’s no proof it actually works (menthol doesn’t actually open your airways, it just makes everything go pleasantly tingly and numb so it feels like relief. clean steam is much better), and also the camphor issue. Small hands and feet have a habit of getting into mouths and you don’t want the kiddywinks to accidentally ingest any of that.

If she wants to make baby’s room soft and soothing? I recommend mood lights as part of bedtime, heck salt rock lamps, for all I can make fun of them at times, are actually marvelous for creating a soft ambient light that is very conductive to sleeping. If she really has her heart set on scents? Sachets of fresh lavender are easy to come by, very easy to make and safe to have around baby so long as it’s effectively sealed (also makes a fun crinkly sound when squeezed). You can also throw them into the dryer or into clothes drawers to scent clothing and give them a soft soothing scent.

So uhm, this might not be what she is wanting to hear, but as a semi-professional with professional friends who have endured tragedy despite knowing what they were doing? Keep essential oils out of tater’s immediate space. If they are going to use essential oils in the home, make sure it’s in the largest, best ventilated space in the house, and never more than for twenty minutes at a time. I also prefer water/steam diffusers above others, keeps the air moist and also keeps the oils safely diluted.

I hope that was helpful, best of luck to your friend and their new wee tater <3

I’ve got nothing for Six Sentence Sunday, but here’s a little taste of ‘Daniel’. (yes, every time I work on this fic, I hear the Elton John song over and over again in my head!) It’s the super angsty story I talked about a couple of weeks ago, though the happy ending is coming. @likingthistoomuch and @mrsmcrieff I’m looking at you girls… 

WARNING: This story deals with the loss of a child. This little excerpt is a moment of Molly dealing with her depression over it, and Sherlock dealing with all his feelings. DO NOT READ if this is upsetting to you in any way. My intention is not to cause anyone hurt. At no point in the story do we see the child’s death, only the aftermath. It’s about Molly’s recovery, and Sherlock’s unrequited love for her many years after HLV. 

Thank you ~Lil~


Sherlock was nearly out of his mind with worry. Thankfully he was also a master at masking his emotions. He, John and Mary sent an untold amount of texts to one another about Molly’s emotional state; no one seemed to have any solutions.

He was sitting at the kitchen table looking at a cold case file that Lestrade had brought ‘round the previous day when Molly suddenly seemed to want to make idol conversation.

“Is it warm outside?” she asked, staring out the window.

He looked up, quite surprised at her sudden talkativeness. “Yes, it’s rather nice today. Would you like to take a walk, Molly?” Standing, he slowly approached, as if she were a frightened animal. 

With a shake of her head, she said, “Just wondered.” She took a deep breath. “His birthday is…would have been next week. I almost feel like I should do something.” 

Her eyes were glassy, unfocused. She had been taking a lot of anxiety pills recently; he must talk to John about gradually reducing them. “Of course, if you want to. If that would help, we could organize something.” He pulled up his desk chair and sat in front of her hoping that she was willing to talk even more.

“Do you know why I adopted him Sherlock?” She finally looked directly at her temporary flat mate. “That’s silly, I’m sure you deduced it, probably over the phone when I asked for your help.”

Sherlock knew why she had adopted Daniel. She was working with Médecins Sans Frontiéres when his parents were brought in very badly ill with malaria. Both of them had died, but due to what Molly had coined a ’miracle’ Daniel had not contracted the disease and was quite well, all things considered. She was nearly finished with her six month volunteer tour, so she phoned Sherlock asking if he could help her bring Daniel home as he had no family left to care for him.  

Sherlock had had some reservations. In his opinion Molly had always been far too soft hearted - too quick to want to offer a helping hand - and he of course immediately assumed that that was what was going on. He was afraid she was making a rash decision. But after her second phone call he made some adjustments in his deductions. Molly was lonely and wanted a child. This was a logical solution for her. So he phoned his brother and after a bit of persuasion, Mycroft was only too happy to assist the young doctor that had helped keep his brother alive and supplied in cadaver parts.  

“Please Molly, explain it to me,” Sherlock said, trying to keep her talking.

She sighed and rolled half onto her belly, resting her chin on the arm of the sofa. Keeping her focus on the window, she asked, “Have you ever been in love, Sherlock?”

Somehow, managed to contain his gasp at the unexpected question. Sherlock Holmes was rarely surprised but when he was, he had to admit it was usually at the hands of Molly Hooper. He maintained his cool exterior when she glanced over at him.

“Right, I forgot who I was talking to.” She turned back to the window. “I loved my parents, then they died. I was madly in love with my uni boyfriend and he cheated on me leaving me completely heartbroken. I thought I loved Tom, but it was something… else, I suppose.” 

There was a pause, she seemed to be carefully considering her next words. 

“Then there’s unrequited love, which may be the cruelest of all. Like a tree falling in a forest… if there’s no one to hear it, does it really make a sound?”

It does, he thought. It sounds like your voice saying goodbye when you left me for six months. 

She adjusted herself again, tucking her arms under her chin. “Daniel was the first person, since my parents, who I loved who truly loved me back. Pure unadulterated adoration. I finally had something, then he left me too. They all leave me…”  She put her forehead on down on the arm of the sofa and sobbed. 

Sherlock felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest. The pit in his stomach felt like it reached his toes and he was certain he was trembling. For all his arrogance and bravado he couldn’t stop the burning in the back of his throat or the sting in his eyes. He was very grateful that Molly’s head was currently buried in his sofa cushion. All he could do was reach up and gently touch her back, speaking now would give far too much away. It would give away everything he had keep so well hidden for so many years. Because watching the love of his life’s heart break in front of him was like nothing he’d ever faced before.  All these weeks were weighing heavy on the normally stoic detective. He was actually missing James Moriarty right at that moment. He would much rather be going toe to toe with a mad man than watching this scene in front of him.  

Sherlock’s head had taken far too long to catch up with his heart when it came to Molly Hooper, and when it did he still kept his revelation to himself for two reasons.  First of all, she was far too good for the emotionally stunted self-proclaimed sociopath. The pedestal Sherlock had placed Molly upon was something akin to Everest (no, it was higher), far out of reach for mere mortals like himself. When the realisation hit him he’d spent several days in his mind palace traversing her rooms (yes rooms.) They were opulent… yet somehow comforting and cozy. Everyone else’s were plain, utilitarian. It had taken him years to build them and he had given hers so much meticulous detail, he was completely shocked that he hadn’t noticed it before.

His second reason was the clear evidence that Molly’s feelings for him had changed. He had known that for quite some time. She had completely moved on from her crush, her infatuation, and yes, romantic love, and placed him firmly into the ‘friend’ category in her life. They had a comfortable companionship and he had no wish to disturb that. If he confessed his feelings and Molly suddenly felt like she couldn’t be in his presence anymore, his world would collapse.  He simply wouldn’t allow it.  Suffering in silence was the only solution.  

To say that Sherlock loved Molly was an insult to his heart… he worshiped her. She was perfection. She was his savior, his conscience.  She was the one person that kept him from turning back to drugs. Ironically he had realised this at the same time he realised his affection for her both existed and could not be reciprocated. He was determined he would not cause Molly Hooper anymore pain, no matter what he did in his life, he wouldn’t hurt her ever again.  

As he watched her breaking down in his sitting room after nearly a month of silence, Sherlock Holmes felt the stirring of a plan. He hadn’t felt like this since Mycroft called him with the news of Daniel’s death. He felt a small flicker of hope.

nytimes.com
Saved From Holocaust: ‘He Loved Me and He Wanted to Keep Me’
A Brooklyn couple in their 90s recounts how their love helped them survive the Holocaust. “He’s not very romantic,” she says, but he saved her life.
By Corey Kilgannon

On Valentine’s Day, couples often reminisce about that moment they knew they would stay together, whether during a vacation, a fancy dinner or, perhaps, while meeting their future in-laws.

For Isaac and Rosa Blum, who became teenage sweethearts 75 years ago in a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland, that moment came as they and thousands of other terrified Jews were being herded to a death camp by Nazi soldiers.

“I saw her walking in front of me,” Mr. Blum recalled. “I went up to the German and told him, ‘That’s my sister,’ even though she was my girlfriend.”

Miraculously, they were both pulled off the line and managed to survive the Holocaust by working as slave laborers in a munitions factory. The following 70 years have been a cinch by comparison, the couple said on Monday in their two-story house in the Manhattan Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn.

He is 94 and she is a year younger. 

Asked to recount their lengthy love affair, they noted the absurdity of couching it — a romance incubated in the hell of the Holocaust — in the frilly trappings of Valentine’s Day.

“You have a mixed story here — you won’t be able to put them together,” Mr. Blum said, even while acknowledging that, yes, it was young, bold love that prodded him to stand up to a Nazi guard and save his sweetheart from being sent to the Treblinka death camp.

A hasty marriage followed and then a horrific honeymoon of sorts: stealing glances and brief exchanges under the stern watch of armed guards.

By 1941, the Nazis had taken over the Polish city of Czestochowa and established a ghetto of about 45,000 Jews. It was in this grim setting that the two met, flirted, gathered with friends, played records and danced together.

By autumn 1942, the Nazis were rounding up Jews for extermination. Mr. Blum was pulled from the line to work in the factory, while his family was pushed onward toward the trains bound for Treblinka. He would never see them again.

In that chaotic, horrific moment, he spied Rosa, brazenly approached a Nazi officer and tried to save the teenage girl up ahead walking with her family. A Nazi soldier grabbed her and asked if she was Isaac’s sister, as he had claimed. She said yes.

“I was young and strong and able to work,” she said. “He said, ‘Come with me,’ and I was pulled out of the line.”

The memories are still vivid and bitter today, but the silver lining is that they still have each other to grow old with, living largely independently and doting on each other.

He calls her a Polish term of affection that translates to “old one.” She calls him simply Blum, and makes his favorite soups every day.

Mr. Blum is a no-nonsense type who considers holding hands silly and, truth be told, has little use for Valentine’s Day.

“He’s not very romantic,” Mrs. Blum said, but his thoughtfulness reveals itself in little gifts and almost begrudging acts of tenderness.

“We have a different point of view, but somehow we’ve survived,” she said. “What keeps us together are the quarrels. That’s the cement of a marriage.”

“I love him in spite of all his defects,” she said. “It’s not so easy, but I wouldn’t change him for somebody else.”

They are both sharp and physically and socially active, even if they are no longer the strapping youngsters who were selected for labor by the Nazis.

With their families sent to their deaths, they were placed in a smaller ghetto of about 5,000 Jews and, the lie about being siblings never detected, they were issued a marriage license so they could live briefly in a residence for couples before being separated in different barracks at the factory site, which was patrolled by armed guards.

They toiled long hours, she as a welder and he as an electrician, which gave him the chance to approach her workstation to share covert glances. They treasured their few minutes of contact during “so-called lunch,” Mrs. Blum recalled.

“We didn’t know if we were going to live so we wanted to be together,” he said.

When word filtered out that most Jews were being killed at death camps, they were incredulous, and counted themselves lucky despite their misery.

“We didn’t know you could build factories to kill people,” Mr. Blum said. “We didn’t want to believe it.”

As Mrs. Blum fixed lunch for her husband on Monday, she said she still had nightmares about the horrors, which included being strip-searched with a group of women while German soldiers watched and laughed. And she was in a medical ward after being pushed down some stairs by a Nazi. She shared the ward with a young Jewish woman who tried to hide her pregnancy from the Nazis. Jewish nurses drowned the newborn in a bucket, fearing that the baby’s cries would doom them all.

After being liberated by the Allies near the end of the war in 1945, the couple stayed in a displaced persons camp and were married a second time by a city official in Austria with borrowed rings.

Soon after, they managed to buy their own rings with a silver coin they had hidden for months. The two rings wore down over the years and the Blums never replaced them.

They moved to Argentina and were married a third time, in a more proper service. They had two children and then moved in 1963 to New York City, where Mr. Blum opened a furrier business, with Mrs. Blum doing much of the handiwork.

They stay busy through programs for Holocaust survivors offered by Selfhelp Community Services, which is partly financed by UJA-Federation of New York and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Reflecting on why he risked his life by approaching the Nazi soldier that day in 1942, Mr. Blum said simply, “I wanted to be with her.”

Then, Mrs. Blum looked adoringly at her unromantic, 94-year-old savior and said, “They could have killed him right away on the spot, but he loved me and he wanted to keep me.”

Hey, look at that, Amandla Stenberg and Amma Asante: you can have a truly romantic – and yet arresting and affecting and provocative and, at turns, tragic and horrifying – love story told with “the backdrop of the Holocaust” without romanticizing or justifying or infantilizing Nazis. :)))) Wow! What a thought!

Nachas to the Blums. <3 To many more years together.

Jake X

Mycroft smiled a little at the mention of work. As he helped Greg gently return each memory to the box, he said,

“Of course I will. We’ll have a shower - wash the day away. I won’t leave your side all night. I promise you faithfully.”

As Greg returned the box to where it was kept, Mycroft quietly took the plates away to the kitchen. He scraped the scraps into the bin, thinking as he did. It was a lot to process. He found himself calm, though - strangely, peacefully calm. He was aware that a lot of trust had been placed in his hands.

Meeting a partner’s children was… quite a milestone, he realised. Not the sort of thing one did casually.

It would only be so long, he realised, before the possibility of some official, open bond was raised - to be each other’s, publicly, a dating couple. Inspector Lestrade’s boyfriend. God help me, Mycroft thought. Such a breathtaking prospect couldn’t possibly, possibly be true.

With the plates ready to wash on the side, Mycroft headed quietly through to the bathroom, turned on the shower, and called.. 

“Greg…?”

Casual reminder that before those miserable fucking Nazi collaborators took Mischa away, they pinched Hannibal’s thigh and cheek and decided that he was too skinny to bother with just then. 

They took Mischa instead, because she still had remnants of baby fat, and was not wasted down to the bone the way that Hannibal was. 

What we can conclude from this is that, when they did have food, Hannibal was making sure that Mischa got something to eat while he himself went hungry. 

He put Mischa before himself and he cared for her, as best as a small boy lost in a war zone could, and that is why she was killed and he lived.   

What if John drives into the river?  (With Rosie, maybe?)

So, I was reading @toxicsemicolon‘s brilliant meta about John crashing his car, Kernel of Truth: The Car and The Driver, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: what if John drives off the road and into the river?  He is dying because he’s drowning, in a car.  

In TST we see Sherlock talking very philosophically at the end of the episode, next to the river,

John’s foot is chained in the well in TFP: he is stuck somewhere that’s filling with water and he can’t get out.  Like say in a car, that’s in the river.

Keep reading

Jake VIII

Greg’s heart was shattered as he held each photograph, the drawings and the little West Ham romper suit in his shaking hands. Each part of Jake vivid, real and alive in each memory.

He felt Myc’s hand on his own, his thumb rubbing gentle circles over the back of his hand. Greg answering Mycroft’s questions in a staccato of broken words, interspersed with sobs. “He would have been 10 this August, Myc. Getting ready for big school. He would have liked you.  With your daft sense of humour.”

Greg let his mind wander over his life, what would Jake be like now? A little bugger no doubt, but he could never have done anything to cramp the pride that his dad held for him.

“Myc, thank you for letting me share this with you, I know this isn’t maybe what you needed after a long day at work, but… its been eating away at me. If, if he had been alive now, he would have been here. I’m not sure whether you would have looked at me twice as a single dad, but I like to think you would have got along.

I so miss him still, even after all this time. There’s no grave. We had a cremation. hated the thought of him in the cold ground. And, he was young, and free, I just didn’t want to have a single place that tied him down. A stone, a memorial… He’s in here!” Greg patted his chest over his heart. “I just, I just wanted to stop him being a secret. I wanted you to know about him…”

Greg leant in to Mycroft, his tears now spent, he felt almost energised, like he had allowed Jakes memory to be free.  "I love you Myc"

two-eleven-thirty-four  asked:

do vampires have ages like child and adult? if so what ages do you... "age up"?

Well, every being that cannot grow or age does not have set ages or times when they grow’. Usually when the egg is laid or the infant comes out it is cared for until it calms and learns a few things. Then after a month or year it’s slaughtered and reborn as a bigger being. If the child can think for itself it chooses the form in which it’s made. My mother remained middle aged and I’m good with being in my 20′s right now. It’s really only the mind that ages with us.”

3

An elaborate crypt holds the remains of 3-year-old Julissa Estrada, at a roadside cemetery in the border town of Douglas, Arizona. The interior is filled with flowers, figurines, balloons, and pictures.

“Q.E.P.D.” stands for que en paz descanse–rests in peace.

Aveline Charlotte Reid

anonymous asked:

Could you do a Reid x reader where they are married and she losses her baby girl at eight months pregnant? And their time in the hospital and first few days home? And dealing with the nursery? And Spencer putting one of the photos of the reader and their baby framed on his desk? Thank you

TRIGGER WARNING:AS THE PROMPT SUGGESTS, THIS INVOLVES THE DEATH OF A CHILD AND IS HIGHLY EMOTIONAL. 


Every breath I took was oppressive now. Air no longer felt like relief, but like fuel on fire. Breathing, thinking, being…made it worse. Sleeping made it worse, but being awake made it unbearable. It was as if the whole world was turned upside down, and I was living in a place where everything was working against me.

My baby girl had died.

It wasn’t hard for me to say. I knew it was real, I wasn’t in denial. I wished I was in denial, I wished I could convince myself by some means that it hadn’t happened. But I couldn’t. The harsh reality was that my body hadn’t been able to keep my baby safe, that my own body had rejected her and forced her out and killed her. It was no one else that did that. My own body effectively killed my baby.

That was perhaps why I couldn’t breathe, because maybe it would be better if I, like her, didn’t get to breathe. Maybe my body should reject me as well. Maybe then, every part of me wouldn’t ache so fiercely for the little life that I had nurtured for eight months, the little girl that we had prepared for. The little girl that was going to be buried in a cemetery, dressed in the only pretty dress she would ever wear, closed up in a casket smaller than anyone should ever need.

She’d been alive when she was born, but we’d known it wouldn’t last long. It wasn’t easy, but we decided to hold her, kiss her, and take pictures with her, to treasure what there was of her life instead of prolong the agony for her and for us. We’d wanted her to go peacefully, having spent her life held and loved and sung to. She was too small, but she was beautiful. I’d held her as soon as she was born. She was quiet, and I never heard her cry. I never imagined I would ever wish to hear my baby cry, but now? I would give anything. We had named her Aveline, which means “strong little bird”, and gave her the middle name Charlotte, meaning “tiny”.

Aveline Charlotte Reid.

She lived for six hours, eighteen minutes, and eleven seconds. My husband always remembers numbers like that, although usually, he’s the only one. Not this time. This time, that number is forever burned into my brain. Six, eighteen, eleven. Numbers that will always be too small. Less than half a day my little girl breathed.

I was holding her when she took her last breath, Spencer with one arm around me, the other hand resting against Aveline, her tiny fingers curled around one of his. We’d taken countless pictures, all within the first four hours, and after that, we’d decided to put away the camera and take whatever time we had left just to hold her, to talk to her, tell her stories and sing her songs. We took turns holding her, and during Spencer’s turns was when I found it hardest not to break. I watched him hold our daughter close to him, all the love in the world shining in his hazel eyes, and I couldn’t help but think of all the moments we wouldn’t have with Aveline. We would never get to watch this sweet baby grow up. This was the only time I would get to see Spencer hold her, the only time I would ever hear him call her Princess, or tell her that Daddy loves her. We could have more children, and I felt sure we would at some point, but those children would be all their own person, and while those memories and moments would be just as treasured, and worth no more or less to us than these with Aveline, these moments with this baby, were things we could never get back. We would never hold Aveline again, and that was all too real to me.

“It’s almost over, Spence,” I whispered as I held her. He told me later that was at six hours, one minute. I don’t know how I knew. Mother’s intuition, maybe, but I could tell. I leaned down and kissed my baby’s head.

“Mommy loves you so much, Aveline,” I whispered. “Fly high, angel.”

“Hey, little girl,” Spencer whispered. Aveline opened her eyes, looking up at him. They were light hazel, like his. Pretty eyes.

“I love you so much,” he said. “We’re going to miss you.”

“Spencer, sing to her with me?” I asked. He nodded wordlessly. I’d heard the song a million times. It had been my favorite for years. Goodnight My Angel, by Billy Joel. The words came easily, memory guiding me effortlessly.

“Goodnight, my angel. Time to close your eyes and save these questions for another day,” I sang softly.

“I think I know what you’ve been asking me. I think you know what I’ve been trying to say,” Spencer joined me, and we continued to sing together.

“I promised I would never leave you and you should always know wherever you may go, no matter where you are,I never will be far away.”

Aveline closed her eyes about the time we reached the last verse, and I knew it was close. So close. But we kept singing.

“Someday we’ll all be gone, but lullabyes go on and on…They never die. That’s how you, and I will be.”

“We love you, Aveline,” Spencer murmured. He was close to tears, and I could barely muster up the strength to speak.

“Sweet dreams, baby girl,” I whispered.

Spencer said it was twenty-three seconds later that she drifted away peacefully, wrapped up in my arms. Not long enough.

“I don’t want to go home,” I whispered, gazing out the hospital window. I was dressed and my bag was packed, but I didn’t want to leave. I knew the house was prepared for our little girl, and I was dreading facing that. I didn’t want to see the pale lavender walls, the white crib, or the ruffly crib skirt. I didn’t want to see any of it.

“I know,” he whispered.

But we went anyway. I let him lead me home and said nothing. I held the tiny pink hat that she’d been wearing in my hands, my fingers never ceasing movement on the warm fabric. It had been two days and still, it felt all too real. I’d expected it to feel surreal, but it didn’t. Spencer unlocked the door and then we both just stood there, just inside the house, surrounded by now-broken fragments of what had been our life when we’d last left here. Eventually, we moved, and I found myself in the nursery, even though I’d wanted to avoid it. Everything was as I’d left it. Tiny clothes that would never be worn, a rocking chair that I didn’t need. White lace curtains and little stuffed animals that Aveline wouldn’t ever hold. Pacifiers and bottles, a mobile that featured little flowers and played classical carousel music. A framed ultrasound photo hung on the wall. The baby monitor, the other end of which was set up in our room. Blankets with various patterns and colors. Diapers and wipes stacked up on the shelves of the changing table.

All of it reminding me that my daughter would never sleep in here. That I would never be awakened by the sound of Aveline crying in the middle of the night. That Spencer and I would never sneak in here to watch her sleep, or play with her in the floor. That Aveline would never come home.

And, finally, I broke down, there in the floor of the nursery, curled around myself, sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t hear Spencer come in, but I felt his presence as he sat down next to me, pulling me into his arms and holding me close to his chest, his face in my hair. He was crying, too, I could tell. Neither of us could bear to quieten or comfort the other. There were no words we could say.

Spencer Reid returned to work almost a month after the death of his baby girl. He wished the others would stop looking at him like that. He knew they were trying, but it was hard for them not to. They had good intentions, but it just made it worse for him. He wanted to forget it, just for a minute, and they were making it impossible. JJ didn’t say a word, no comforting assurance, no questions. She just hugged him, and he let her, comforted just a little sliver by her warm embrace. Even as she pulled away, she just looked at him for a moment, no need for words. Spencer sat down at his desk and pulled the frame out of his bag. It was his favorite of the photos they’d taken in the hospital, of (Y/N) and Aveline, with (Y/N) gazing down at the baby girl, a look of love and not of sadness on her face. It was pure mother’s love, a look he’d longed to see on her, and you could see Aveline’s tiny hand reaching for (Y/N), peeking out of the blanket. He placed it gently on his desk and took a moment to look at it before he turned away and picked up a file folder.

Slowly, so slowly, he felt as if his heart was finally beginning to beat again.