The loss of a child is a pain all bereaved parents share, and it is a degree of suffering that is impossible to understand without experiencing it first hand. Often, when we know someone else is experiencing grief, our discomfort keeps us from approaching it head on. But we want the world to remember our child or children, no matter how young or old they were.
A death of a child loss can break a person in a way that can never be fixed. We will learn to pick up the pieces and move forward, but our lives will never be the same.
Our loss is unnatural, out-of-order;
it challenges our sense of safety in this world.
We will never forget our child. And in fact, our loss is always right under the surface of other emotions, even happiness. Today marks 4 years since I found out I lost you, and baby boy, there’s some things I wish I could tell you.
I don’t know why it takes me by surprise every time but I get the same headache every single May 11th for the last 4 years. But each time the day rolls around, I wake up with my brain feeling like it’s in a vise-like grip, and I wonder, what’s wrong with me?
It takes a couple of minutes to remember why I feel this way. The it hits me and the sky darkens. The anniversary of your death. And my body responds like it’s set to some kind of primal alarm.
Since you died, I pretty much have to cross off the month of May. It seems so backwards to be celebrating the end of a college semester or graduations and worse, celebrating Mother’s Day, when inside I just feel broken. But I do it, I keep up the pretense, because otherwise I think it would be even worse.
I have tried to write you this letter for some time now, only to cross it out, delete it, crumple it up, throw it away – what do I want to say?
Do I say mommy’s sorry for not protecting you and keeping you safe? I’m sorry for losing control of myself and ultimately losing you.
I’m sorry I failed you as your mother.
I am sorry it took 2 years to tell your father about you, but you need to understand that we weren’t in a good place at all.
I don’t want you to think I never wanted you, because I did and still do. I dream about you, and I know your father does too. Even though you never had a chance to see the world, just know you were loved every minute, and you still are.
I want you to know that whenever you visit me and your father in our dreams, we see you. We see your brown curly hair, your bright blue eyes, your sweet little voice saying “Mommy, wake up!” or “Daddy, wake up!”. Your dad and I aren’t together anymore, we haven’t seen or talked much since before I lost you, but when we do talk, it’s almost always about you.
It would be nice to know where you are, wherever it may be – as long as it isn’t nowhere, but I try not to think like that. It would be nice to know that you can still feel our love; or maybe feel it now, since you may not have been able to feel it while you were in my tummy.
I don’t know that you ever felt we loved you, and that is the saddest thing of all.
I hope you remember the way I used to sing to you after I found out about you. And I hope you felt my holding you or cradling you. I hope you know how hard it was for me to take the news that I lost you. I hope you know that you will always be my son, and I will always be your mommy. And when I have your half brothers or sisters, I will be sure they know all about you. I will make sure they grow up knowing they have a half-brother.
I’m not sure if this letter will ever reach you, but if it does, I hope you can hear me say – you are unforgettable. When you feel like visiting me in my dreams, I will be there. I will spend as much time as I can with you, I will try to tell you all the ways that I love you.
You have changed me, my darling baby boy. Your life was warm and without fear. I held you from conception through to death and I loved you every second of your life. And I hope you know that ever since you left this world, a huge part of my heart is missing. It’s impossible to say how much I miss you and love you, but I hope you know I mean every word and would do anything I could to get you back.
Until the day comes when I can see you in heaven, I’ll see you in my dreams Kyle Anthony. Mommy loves you.
Featured Image via Vogue.