10 months down the line and I find myself actively trying to change the course and the nature of my grieving for you. It’s an experience I can only describe as being bittersweet – heart breaking and healing in equal measure.
That constant paradox that is grieving.
I try to see beauty where I could once only see pain; I try to see the sunshine behind the clouds; and the daffodils amongst the weeds.
Things as ‘simple’ as the passing of time … something that is unbearably painful some days. Every single day is one day longer I have been away from you – one day longer that I have survived without you. One day longer that I have gone without holding you; without touching you; without being able to kiss your perfect button nose or stroke your beautifully soft skin; without being able to pick you up and hold you to my chest, nuzzling my nose in to your head full of fuzzy, dark hair.
I’m trying my hardest now to see the passing of time differently. I’m not sure if I truly believe that I will see you again … but I hold on to the hope that I will. And I hope that, as every day passes, I am not one day further away from you, but one day closer to holding you in my arms again.
I try to be as kind to myself as I can be. Some days are much easier than others to do that. Not unusually, I still feel an intense guilt that you didn’t survive pregnancy, that you didn’t make it Earthside alive, and so I find it difficult to allow myself to be okay. Giving myself time to feel comforted is something I struggle with massively.
In most of my dreams you are alive and well, so early nights have become my ‘thing’ recently. I sleep earlier in the hope that you make your way in to my consciousness, and that I can dream about you for longer. I sleep earlier in the hope that I can feel somewhat more connected to you while I’m not awake – while there isn’t as much going through my mind. I go to sleep earlier in the hope that my wakeful worries and fears subside somewhat, and that I can be on a more level ground when I think about you while sleeping.
It doesn’t always work that way. I sometimes find that early nights call for more dreaming, and my deepest, darkest fears and worries about you come to the surface. I have woken up with tears streaming down my face, crying for you, as I dream of your perfect little body cold and shivering in the ground. I have woken and been physically reaching out for you as I dream of your coffin being lowered in to the ground over, and over, and over again …
But the ‘risk’ that I will dream of those things is absolutely worth seeing you grow as I sleep.
The ‘risk’ of that happening is worth the vision I have of you as you are now – my beautiful chubby boy, with your one toothed cheeky smile, your tubby fingers, your big bright blue eyes, and your head full of dark and thick curls … your blue teddy and the ‘Roo and Dog’ teddy you were buried with held close to your chest.
I think I find solace and comfort in little things now – things that I feel ‘connected’ to you through, though they never had much of a connection to you while you were living.
Flowers, because they’re one of the very few physical things I can give to you. I can care for them; I can tend to them; I can watch them grow. They are one of a minute amount of things that haven’t changed since you died. It used to frustrate me that so many things carried on as ‘normal’ after you died – it genuinely annoyed me that the world continued as though you didn’t exist. I wondered why everyone else could just carry on, when my world had been completely destroyed.
But it’s constant. It’s something that I’m now somewhat thankful for. It’s something that happens now, just as it did when you were alive. Something that validates your existence because it hasn’t just stopped now you’re gone … Flowers bloomed then, and flowers bloom now. Just like they didn’t stop growing when you were living, they haven’t stopped growing now you’re not. They are a permanent reminder of the beat that you once had in your heart; a devotion to your life.
Butterflies, because of their transformation. Starting as something tiny and vulnerable, resting for a while when the time is right, and then mutating in to wonderful, beautiful, strong, and free.
This is what I hope has happened to you.
I hope you are free.
And feathers, because the girls wholeheartedly believe that they are feathers from your wings and that you leave them behind whenever you visit.
Feathers are a piece of your magic. They are a comfort to your sisters, and they have them believing that you’re near. They are amazed every time they come across a tiny white feather – running up to me clutching it in their (usually muddy) palms, shouting to me that you’ve already been wherever we are.
I hope you have.
I hope you can see the world; I hope you can see the impact you’re having down here. I hope you can hear me when I talk to you, and hear the stories I read to you at bedtime. I hope you can see the tears that slowly fall down my cheek for missing you, because I only miss you this much due to the sheer love I have for you. I hope that you truly know how loved you are; how missed you are; and how much we wish you were here and not there.
‘There’ doesn’t know how lucky it is to have you.
Mama misses you baby.
I love you.