They say that grief works like the ocean.
Some days, the water is completely calm.
Some days, the water is mostly calm but has a few small waves.
Some days, the water is calm but has a few small waves and a couple of large waves.
Some days, the water is not so calm and there are more waves than normal.
Other days, the water doesn’t stop, there are constant HUGE waves crashing against the shore.
The last few weeks, I’ve been stuck at the latter. I’m stuck in a place from where I cannot find a way out. It’s like I’m in the middle of a massive storm that just isn’t ending. Wave upon wave of anger, fear, of intense sadness.
And I cannot find respite.
I cannot escape it.
It constantly has me wondering where the logic of people always telling me that ‘time is a healer‘ comes from … because from where I’m standing, from where I’m at right now, time is doing the complete opposite of healing.
5 months have passed since I first held my little boy – since I first saw his perfect and beautiful face; since I first felt his cold, floppy body against mine; since he entered the world in to a room so silent it was deafening; and I don’t feel any better now than I did then.
I should have a 5 month old baby boy. He should be teething, learning to roll over, learning to sit up, maybe being introduced to his first taste of food. He should be laughing at his big sisters playing, gurgling and babbling when he wants to ‘talk’ …
As time passes, I realise more and more what I’m missing in not having Otis here and (excuse the language) it’s just not fucking fair.
5 months without my son. 5 months of milestones missed. 5 months of constant wondering. 5 months of constant pain. 5 months of everything changing but the world around me staying the same.
Why me? Why us? Why my son?
What has he done that he deserved to die? What have his two big sisters done that they deserved to lose their baby brother, who they were so excited to meet?
None of this is fair. I need him. I need him so badly and I’m angry at whoever or whatever decided they needed my son more than I do.
He isn’t in a ‘better place’ like those around me keep trying to tell me – the best place for my little boy is in my arms; not 3 feet underground in a tiny blue coffin; not in the arms of angels; not in the arms of family and friends gone before him; not with his angel baby friends; not dancing on clouds and playing upon rainbows; not just in my ‘mind’ as a memory; but in MY arms. Safe.
While I understand that it is completely normal, I am angry. I’m angry and I’m scared.
One of my biggest fears since losing Otis is that he doesn’t have his mind. He passed away due to numerous medical conditions affecting his tiny brain – all of which didn’t come to light until after 32 weeks gestation. By the time Otis’ heart stopped beating, he was showing no brain activity at all. He was, essentially, brain dead. He wouldn’t be able to do anything had he survived pregnancy.
He would have never walked; he would have never talked; he would have been blind; he would have been deaf; he wouldn’t have been able to coordinate any of his limbs; he wouldn’t ever have been able to swallow food; he wouldn’t have been continent; he wouldn’t have been able to breathe by himself.
I know, deep down, the reason why I’m stuck in this place. I know that it’s motherly instinct keeping me here. I’m here because I’m worried about my son. I’m here because I am absolutely terrified …
What if, wherever he is now, he can’t do any of those things? The only ‘comfort’ I have found in Otis passing away prior to birth is that he has never known pain, he has never known fear … but what if that’s not the case? What if he’s in the same situation in ‘Heaven’ or wherever he may be, as he would have been down on Earth? What if he cannot talk? What if he cannot see? What if he cannot hear? What if he cannot breathe?
Can he breathe? Can he see me, his mummy? Can he watch his big sisters play? Does he even know that we go to visit him, if he cannot do those things?
The brain tumour, the intracranial haemorrhages, the brain midline shift and the destroyed brain tissue … I hope they didn’t get his mind. I hope he has his mind.
I know I’m stuck in this place because there isn’t one single person walking this Earth who can tell me that he’s okay. There isn’t one single person walking this Earth who can PROMISE me that my son is in a safe place. There isn’t one single person walking this Earth who can be sure that he is warm; that he is being cuddled; that he hears mummy reading him his bedtime story.
And I need that.
I need it so badly.
I need to know that he’s doing okay.
Are you okay, Otis? Please just let me know you’re okay. I don’t care how, I don’t care when … I just need to know.
Otis Dominic Anthony Cullen; you are missed beyond words and you are loved beyond measure, sweet boy.