bereavement · Childbirth · childloss · grief · infantloss · Labour · miscarriage · pregnancy · stillbirth · Uncategorized

Dear Otis… Thank you.

Dear Otis,

It’s really hard living without you. Though you were only on Earth for a short while, you hold a massive piece of my heart. I’m not whole without you. It scares me, knowing I’ll never be whole again without you here. But, at the same time I embrace it. I know this only hurts so much because of the immense love I have for you. That’s why I tentatively invite this pain.

I hope you know how loved and missed you are. I get scared most days that there actually isn’t an ‘afterlife’ and that you cannot see how you’ve impacted your family, OUR family and the world. I worry that the very last thing you ever laid eyes on was the inside of my womb. As beautiful and as comforting as it is, knowing that you only ever knew warmth and love, I would hate for you to have never seen the world with your own eyes.

It’s only been 9 weeks since you were born. In more ways than one it feels as though a life time has passed. It’s flown by. Then, at the same time, it feels as though it was yesterday. I can remember so vividly my labour and birthing of you. I can remember so vividly hearing those words, that you were actually gone. I remember so vividly seeing your big sisters hold you for the first and last time; but so much else of it is just a blur. That’s why I decided to start writing. I knew, in time, my memories would change somewhat and I wanted to remember everything about you and our time with you EXACTLY as it was.

I’m writing this to you mainly to say thank you.

Odd? Probably. But, thank you sweet boy.

Thank you for showing me the world in an entirely different light. Being taken to such deep levels of pain has allowed to me to experience joy on a much more intense level. I see and feel happiness in things I never would have before; little things that I probably wouldn’t have even paid attention to. I see blooming flowers and I smile. I see little butterflies and I smile. I hear the sound of laughter coming from your big sisters, and suddenly that sound is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. I so wish you were here to hear it, Otis. That would have been you soon. You’d be 9 weeks old so you would just be learning to smile; your first laugh would follow shortly after. I truly hope, wherever you are, that there is someone with you making you smile.

Thank you for bringing me to people I never would have met had you not existed. These people have become my life line. They just ‘know’ how I feel without me having to speak and I cannot explain to you how much that means to me when dealing with losing you. I know, and they know, that I will NEVER ‘get over’ you; but they’re lifting me and guiding me through this rollercoaster we call our grieving process. It’s the most confusing journey I have ever walked. I wish I didn’t have to walk it at all, but you know that. The people I have found through you help me in ways that no one else can. They give me the chance to remove these ill-fitting shoes that pain me so much. Though for short periods of time, they offer me such support that I can rest my tired feet every now and then whilst walking this road.

This is a strange one but thank you for allowing me to see only weeks after your heart stopped beating that nothing I do is going to bring you back. I DO understand that. Though difficult to comprehend, I know that I cannot bring you back from the dead, Otis. You have allowed me to see that by making me completely vulnerable and forcing me to go to places within myself that I never knew existed. When I’m alone and crying for you to come home, thank you for not giving me any glimmer of hope that it will ever happen. I don’t want false hope that I will see your physical body again in this life. But you know that, don’t you Otis? You know just to send me little signs that you’re around, instead.

Thank you for allowing me to learn that with every step I take, I am taking one for you. I know that with every breath I take, I am breathing for you. I cannot take that for granted anymore. I’m not only living my own life now; I’m living yours for you, too. I promised you that I wouldn’t allow for your memory to die alongside you, and I won’t. I owe you that much.

From the day we found out we were expecting you we started creating hopes and dreams for you. We would often talk about how you were going to be the most intelligent, funny and caring little boy. We spoke about how we would support your dreams wholeheartedly, because all we cared about was your health and happiness. We often joked about how you would be your daddy’s Fathers Day and birthday present for as long as we live. I only wish that was the case, now. You were the best gift he will ever receive.

Alongside your big sisters, you ARE the best gift I have ever received. I only wish I got to keep you. I’m sure that’s how gifts are supposed to work, isn’t it? No ‘takesies backsies’ … I wish whoever it was that gifted you to me allowed me to keep you. I wish that they saw how longed for you were and how much we wanted you here with us.

You aren’t only a gift for myself; you are a treasured gift for many people around the world now. There are SO many people who know your name. There are SO many people who know your story. There are SO many people who have grown to love you. You’re spoken of daily and not just in our home. I’m sure you know how much that means to me.

It seems as the days go by that your death is becoming more difficult to deal with. Now the initial shock is wearing off it’s really starting to hit home that you’re never coming back. It’s starting to become more of a reality that I face maybe 60+ years of not seeing you before I can hold you in my arms again – or can I? I’m not sure how you’ll be. Will you stay forever tiny? Will you grow in to a little boy and then stop? Will you grow to age, as you would had you lived? I don’t question whether I will recognise you, if that’s the case. You’re my little boy. Even if you grow to be 6ft like your daddy, you will still be my little boy and I KNOW that I would know who you are the second I lay eyes on you.

I cannot put in to words how much I long to hold you again. I ache to feel your 5lbs1oz weight in my arms. My tummy aches to feel you kicking and wriggling. My ears ache to hear your cry for the first time. My eyes ache to see your beautiful eyes for the first time. My chest aches to feel you nestled in to it while I hold and sing you to sleep at night. I miss you, so much.

Thank you for choosing me, Otis. Thank you for making me your mummy. Thank you for coming to us and for choosing us to be your family. Thank you for trusting me with your legacy. Thank you for trusting me with your memory. Thank you for giving me the chance to keep your name alive. Thank you, Otis, for showing me the path I need to take in this life. I cannot put in to words how proud I am that you’re mine. I cannot begin to explain how honoured I am to have carried you within me; to have birthed you.

I love you my precious boy, more than you will ever know. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.

Love, Mummy x




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