It has been almost 2 weeks since I last wrote to/about you. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to; it’s not that I haven’t tried – I have just really struggled to find the words to write.
I’ve been in a really strange place for the last few weeks, and I cannot seem to snap out of it. I’m struggling now to put how I’m feeling in to context.
To put it as simply as I can, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for grieving for you. I feel like it’s wrong to grieve for you. Reason being; I am happy that I ever had you. I am happy that I got to know you. I am happy that you existed. I am happy that you are my son. I am happy that I am your mummy.
I don’t want your entire existence to be tarred by your death.
Does that make me selfish?
I don’t want the fact that you LIVED to be over run by the fact that you died.
Do you know what I mean, Otis? Do you understand? Mummy doesn’t hold back the tears because she doesn’t miss you or because she doesn’t want you here, I just want you to know that I feel truly lucky that I had you in the first place. I worry that crying will make you think otherwise.
Though I lost you, I was given the chance to love you.
Though I lost you, I was given the chance to hold you.
Though I lost you, I was given the chance to kiss you.
Though I lost you, I was given the chance to know you.
But the truth is, I miss you. Each and every second of every minute of every hour of every day, I miss you.
I miss who you were, I miss who you are, I miss who you would have been.
I sit now, thinking of the 4 month old little boy that I should have sat here beside me. I think of your head of jet black, wavy hair and wonder whether you would have lost any of it, or if it would have grown. I think of your perfect little button nose and wonder how many kisses I would have planted on it by now. I think of your tiny elf ears and wonder if the pointy bit of your ear would have stayed that way, or if it would have settled after a couple of weeks. I think of your lips – the one facial feature you inherited from me – and I wonder what your smile would be like.
I imagine your closed eyes and I sit and close mine. I close mine and I try to force myself to see you with yours open. What do you look like with your eyes open, Otis? Are your eyes open where you are now? I hope they are. I hope you can see with your own eyes the impact you’re having on the world.
I imagine your beautifully perfect tiny body in my arms and I think about how you would feel in them now. Would you be a little chunk, like your sister Cora was when she was a baby? Or would you be little chicken legs, like your sister Maisie?
If you are keeping your eye on us all, like I hope you are, then you’ll have noticed that mummy has become somewhat professional at holding back the tears. I’ve become ‘good’ at pretending. I’ve become ‘good’ at talking about you without tears pouring down my cheeks. Please know that it isn’t because it doesn’t upset me, I am just so scared of being vulnerable, Otis. I am terrified of crying in front of people.
A part of me feels like I need someone to take me to breaking point. I keep telling people that I haven’t had that, yet. I haven’t truly ‘broken’ and I know, deep down, that I need to. I have this overwhelming urge to break, but I’m scared to. What if I break, then I cannot find a way to glue the pieces of myself back together? What if I break, and I stay broken forever?
It often comes across that I don’t care, when I speak of you. I do. I truly do, but you know that. The words that escape my mouth when people ask about you – it’s scripted. It’s word-for-word the exact same sentences that flow, every. single. time. someone mentions your name. I haven’t become ‘immune’ to the hurt that drowns me whenever I say your name. I haven’t become ‘immune’ to the pain of knowing you’re never coming home. To me, they are just words. I’m not telling your story – I’m telling facts. People ask what’s happened, and I will tell them. If anyone ever asks me how I’m doing, my mouth tells them what they want to hear, but my eyes tell the truth.
Anyone I spend time with often will tell you that. I can talk about you without breaking down. I can talk about you without crying. But I cannot say your name without tears filling my eyes. I just don’t let them flow.
I’m never going to be whole without you, ever. But what if I break to the point where I’m not even salvageable? There is always going to be an Otis shaped hole in my heart, in my womb, in my life … but what if I crumble and can no longer make sense of the rest of me?
I want to cry for you, so badly. I want to break. I just can’t. How can I, when I had you? How can I, when you are mine? I grew you and I am SO proud to be your mummy. You are moving mountains from the stars! How can I be sad that I’m your mummy?
I thought I would live for the rest of my life saying goodnight to you, instead I said goodbye. But, in saying goodbye, I said hello first …
I miss you, sweet boy. I cannot put in to words how much I miss you. I love you beyond measure.