Today you would have been three months old. I miss you so much. The physical pain in my chest has returned these past few days, and I long so much for you to be back. Sometimes, you feel like a dream, like a precious little boy that I imagined. But I didn’t imagine you. You were real, you were kicking, and now you are not here with me. My memory of what three month olds are learning, what milestones they are achieving, is fuzzy. But I don’t want to allow myself to look it up, because I don’t want to feel your absence even more, if that is at all possible. I don’t know how to protect my heart when it is so broken. In the past two weeks, I have seen two friends/mothers who have children your brother’s age and are due with babies in November. I am so sad that you will not get to meet them, play with them, giggle and laugh. It breaks me that my memories of you are so painful, that your death and then birth marked a crack in my world from which I don’t know how to recover.
I will spend an hour today volunteering at a rec center. It will be my second time there, and my last time, since the summer program is ending. I told the teacher what happened to you, why I had availability to volunteer, and she said she was ‘so sorry.’ That is what everyone says. They don’t know how to respond. They seem taken aback, surprised by your loss. I wonder if people think it strange that I feel a need to tell everyone about you, but right now, that is where I am. You are too much a part of me, but an invisible part, so I need other people to know you existed. How can I introduce myself without introducing you also? You are so linked to who I am right now, to who I will become–even though I myself don’t know who that is yet. I can’t be understood without them knowing about you. Yesterday, I also volunteered at an end of summer event. One of the girls working on a mosaic started talking about how her cousin was just shot and killed by police. I had read about that in the paper–she was holding her son when she was killed. He was older, I think about four or five. And now his mother is dead.
You are dead. Death. I have thought and talked about death more than I ever thought I would. Eli asked me where ducks go when they die. We have been reading ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ and he wanted to know if there had been a real Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and eight little ducklings. I said I didn’t know, but that there were real ducks in the Public Garden in Boston, and also a statue of Mrs. Mallard and her little ducklings. He said ‘but they are probably dead now, since that was a long time ago?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Where do they go when they die?’ he asked. So I told him that we don’t really know, that people have all sorts of ideas about death but that no one really knows because once someone dies, they cannot come back and tell us about death. He asked about you, and I said that your body was in the cemetery and that your energy is now part of the rest of the world, part of the butterflies, the sky, love, and maybe even some other babies. I don’t know if I believe that. But I know that I wasn’t ready to give you back. I will never be ready to let you go. Right after you died, someone sent me a quote that basically said that the hardest part of being a mom is loving and letting go. But I can’t let go. I was supposed to raise you, get to share in the joy of knowing you for more than 37 short weeks, to watch Eli get to know you, and to watch you get to know Eli. So I can’t let go. I can love you, but I can’t let go.
It has been just over 13 weeks, just over 1/4 of a year. Time goes on, but my world stopped when your heart stopped. Eli has been feeling responsible for my happiness, and I don’t want him to. That is a lot of responsibility for one little 3.5 year old boy. So how I put the responsibility for my sadness on you, a tiny baby, 6 lbs, 1.5 ozs, and 19.33 inches long?
I still don’t know how to live without you, my beautiful precious son, my second child, my much loved and wanted baby boy. I am scared to be in a world without you. But I love you every second of every day. Always and for ever, my dearest Sidney. I will love you always and forever. And I will never stop wanting you here by my side. If you exist in any form, I hope you know that. I hope you can feel that.
I will love you forever, Sidney Louis.
Love your mama