And so it rolls round again. Your birthday, and the anniversary of your death the day before. I sit and stare at the blank page in front of me, wondering what I’m going to write, wondering how I can express what the loss of you means to me, 7 years on. The truth is, it means the same as it always means. It means blocking it out, whilst I don’t have time to think about it properly. It means the ever-increasing feeling of weight on my shoulders as we spin uncontrollably to the week I dread every year. It means the squeezing in time for reflection, in between work, and bath times, and putting kids to bed, and the one hour a day I get to speak to your dad. It means the panic, when I know I’ve got to write and I don’t know how to say everything I need to say to you. It means the need to do New Things, in your name. It means the feeling of relief, when the day comes around, when we get a small amount of time to think of you, to mark your birthday and honour your name.
It’s the cycle of grief. Rinse and repeat. I wonder how to make things feel different, but I find myself in that same pattern, again and again. I am often ill, at this point. I am anxious, constantly, and prone to panic. I feel overwhelmed, more easily. I find it hard to talk – yes, me, the talker, who never has any trouble expressing myself. I eat rubbish. I put on weight. I start to bite my nails, again. I shout at your brothers, despite wanting to bite off my tongue when I do. I tell people, ‘it’s a difficult time of year,’ but that’s a bloody big understatement. I say, ‘it’s better when we get past the 16th’. And it is, in a way. But in others, it isn’t. That cycle, swirling round and round each year, it bothers me. It marks my life, going on, whilst marking yours, which does not. ‘He would have been seven’, is a terrible thing to have to say. Oh, no more terrible than the other birthdays which preceded it but somehow saying it, every year, cuts me deeply.
I am scared to change the cycle, to do anything differently. There is some comfort, in routine. A certainty amongst the vein of not knowing that runs through the rest of my life. I don’t know what will happen to the other people I love. To your brothers, and dad, and grandparents, and all the others in your life. To me. But you? I know what will happen to you. You will go on, not being here. And we will go on marking your birthday; we will go on saying, ‘he would have been 8, 9, 25, 40’. We will go on dreading the run up, doing the New Things, and feeling the weight and the panic and the relief. And I will go on missing you. Not just at this time of year, but always. And the years will roll around. The cycle of grief. Rinse and repeat.
The cycle of missing you, my baby. Always.
You can read Nicole's previous posts here:
Right Where I Am 2017: Nearly 6 years
Right Where I Am 2016: 4 years 11 months 4 days
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