I met Liam only months before Adrian’s first birthday. We were thrown together by circumstances, and I was still only focusing on the things right in front of me—eat, sleep, breathe. I was taking steps into the world, but they were tiny. And it was literally weeks before I noticed Liam was noticing me. And he still had to finally, bluntly come right out and say it.
early days after the loss of my son
I remember being angry when people tried to cheer me up in those early days. I didn’t know much about grief then, but I was quickly learning. I could tell, already, this wasn’t how it worked. You don’t comfort someone’s grief by denying it exists. Is it so hard to understand this?
Most days I feel “fine.” I live life and I care for your sister, and when the subject comes up, I talk about you. I love talking about you. And sometimes I feel bad, even though I know better, that I hardly cry anymore.
In those early days, most things were harder. But grief was easier. It was always present.
I think somehow I felt like I would be healed now, like your birthday would be a healing event. Like I felt about that cruise. I will never be healed.
The first night I left the house after Alexis* left, I was in a daze. I had walked these streets playing Pokemon Go not even that long ago. It felt like another lifetime.
I remember those early days after loss, when I used to go to yoga just to cry. It was a safe, quiet space, and most people didn’t judge me. It was a release.
I say your name. That part is easy. I will forever love the sound of your name, the feel of it in my voice. What I can’t say is what happened to you.
I wake up in the morning, and you aren’t there. This is the worst part of my day.
I think your Aunt Alexis worries about me. I worry about me. I am going through the motions, but inside I feel helpless. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
I think about running away. I think about starting a new life, where people don’t know, where they don’t stare at me with pity in their eyes.
Even now, everything was worth it. I will never regret anything I did to prepare for you.
I watched your tiny mouth for so long in the hospital. I can almost picture you suckling at my breast. This was supposed to be for you. Everything was supposed to be for you.
After Adrian’s death, I came home from the hospital to a fully furnished nursery and without a living child. I wanted nothing more than to sleep for weeks, but I had to deal with milk, and funeral planning, and all the minutiae of being postpartum without a living child.