Sunday, 14 August 2016

Nicole: Right Where I Am 2016: 4 years, 11months, and 4 days

It seems like I am being caught up by grief again.  Not the gentle, ever-present lapping of sadness that has been with me since your death and birth nearly 5 years ago.  Nor the huge, crashing, might-just-swallow-you-up waves that nearly drowned me when we first lost you.  But a constant pulling feeling; like I’m always in danger of going under.  I’m swimming, just coping, just managing to get from one place to another.  But the threat is always there – one false move and that’ll be it.  It scares me.  I think it scares me because, in true ‘me’ style, I feel like it shouldn’t be happening.  I should be okay.  This bit of grieving should be over.  I remember when we lost you, after the first few terrible weeks, grief settled around me, making it hard to move through life.  I felt slow, heavy; the waters were thick like sludge, and it was hard to walk forward.  But over months and years, that started to change.  The waters became gentle, and it was easier to walk again. 

But lately, I don’t know why, but I feel it again.  Everything is taking effort.  I think of your birthday coming up, and I can hardly say the words, ‘he would have been five’.  Why does five feel so significant?  As an August baby, you would have gone to school last year, so it’s not that.  Maybe five seems like you would have been a child, not a toddler, not a pre-schooler. Perhaps it’s simply because it’s half a decade without you.   
When we talk about baby loss, we often talk about how you don’t just lose the baby – you lose all the stages your child would have gone through.  I have talked about that in such a matter of fact way, to so many people, but I can really feel it at the moment.  I have lost you the baby, you the toddler learning to walk and talk, you the big boy going off to school, you the teenager with your own angst and worries.  You the university student, you the worker- proud and possibly miserable at your first job.  You the young man, falling in love.  You the husband, you the father.  I have lost your children. 
I’ve lost your voice, your laugh.  I’ve lost holding your hand, kissing your face.  I’ve lost comforting you when you’re sad, and looking after you when you’re ill.  I’ve lost being frustrated at you because of your tantrums, and I’ve lost you telling me you hate me and refusing to speak to me.  I’ve lost you telling me you’re sorry and that you love me.  I’ve lost feeling useless because I can’t make everything wonderful for you and I’ve lost the guilt of feeling I’m not doing enough for you.  I’ve lost the pride in you when you get a sticker at nursery, a certificate at school, an award for sport or art or drama.  I’ve lost knowing what you’re good at, and what taxes you.  I’ve lost wiping away your tears.  I’ve lost knowing the colour of your eyes, stroking your hair.  I’ve lost knowing what it feels like to hold you, to feel the weight of you in my arms changing as you grow. I’ve lost having to tell you to set an example for your younger brothers and breaking up your fights.  I’ve lost the chance to photograph my three boys, all together.
I thought that these losses became easier to bear as time went on.  I thought I could compartmentalise my grief; that grief was a small but significant part of who I am.  That the waters would remain light and easy to wade through.  But I realise that sometimes it’s more than that.  Sometimes - for an hour, a week, a month  – the grief over losing you is almost everything to me.  And maybe that’s okay.  Maybe it’s one of the ways I can ensure you are as present a part of my life as your brothers are.  I just need to work on coming to terms with that.  Accepting, if I can, that the loss of you – of everything you were and could have been – is simply too great a loss to ever have it feel manageable for long. Maybe the pull of the water is the pull of not just my grief, but also of my love for you. Maybe I need the space and time to sometimes, just for a little while, close my eyes and go under.


You can read Nicole's previous posts here:

Right Where I Am 2015: 4 years exactly
Right Where I Am 2014: 2 years 10 months 25 days
Right Where I Am 2013: 1 year 10 months 25 days
Right Where I Am 2012: 9 months and 4 weeks

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post Nicole. Really says it all I think. No matter how much time passes, the grief still appears in various ways and for various reasons. And I think that's okay. How do you ever get over such a loss? You don't. And it's okay to let go and feel it, it really is xx