Hello My Boy.
I know it is belated. I know it is not THE day. I know it feels wrong. But it has taken some time. Time due to circumstance, time due to my heart. Time to find space.
I found your 3rd birthday SO hard as it approached. I just could not get my head around the thought that it has been 3 years since you never took that first breath. And I just could not bear to let my heart – or my head – drift towards thoughts or memories of you.
And then when your birthday hit, so did gastro. Gastro had meant I could not prepare the night properly. I was weak and unwell. Then it hit Tara on our way to your dinner. So many people could not come, or facebook did not alert them and those who were able to come were Jet Lagged so had to leave early anyway. Then again, so did we. I drove Tara home with CJ while Ally had an extra couple of drinks with some friends.
It just felt hard, and lonely. Like once again the world was against me on the 14th of July. It is a day that is set for you. Where I can unashamedly and unapologetically laugh and cry and fawn all over your memory. Decorate a cake as if you were with us.
But you aren’t with us.
We went to your tree with some awesome friends. There was laughter, and cake and quiet reflection. And singing. We sung happy birthday to you. There are some photos of the day. I’ll post them tomorrow. Your tree is getting bigger and stronger. Sometimes it has flowers on it. It is quietly unassuming in the little place we planted it. Just sits there – hidden in plain view. Somewhat like you. Tara decorated the cake for the park, and the friends loved the jellybeans as the rolled out of the centre. So much colour on a day that feels so muted and grey, even in the brightest of sun.
For your birthday, RNSH was gifted a cold cot thanks to Talin’s Cloud. I feel so honoured that your name is etched on the box. Every family that uses it will whisper your name. They will know of you. And you will touch their hearts as they squeeze every free moment out of the day with their child. The second longest day of their life… the longest day being the day they forever say goodbye. The cot was used the day it was delivered. And then I learned a family was touched by loss on the 14th. Another family had their cries echo and bounce around the walls of Room One. I hope, my little spirit babe, you were able to give them some energy… some love.
It isn’t easier, Avery, to deal with your loss after 3 years. The pain is still there, I am just better and not facing it. But sometimes I find myself longing for that initial month so that I can feel the shock and the pain and the intensity of my grief, without fear of protecting Tara, or my heart, or anyone else. No matter how much I want to, it is not the same as it was. I can’t just let it all out. It oozes and seeps from me sometimes – at my Drs, at my new psychologists, at the SIDS and Kids memorial. Like a sponge that just cannot hold on to any more liquid, it leaks from my eyes and my heart.
I feel so suffocated by the constraints of how everyone else does or does not function, or grieves, or lives. Why can’t I be carefree and just embrace the tear streaked emptiness that wants to engulf me? Too much hiding of my feelings when younger. Too much thinking space. Too much mental, not enough emotion.
I hate that I do not have new stories about things you are doing, tricks you are learning, words and phrases you are saying. I ache that I don’t know whether you like Iron Man, Dragons or Thomas. I have no clue if you like blue, or green, or pink. I will never know your favourite foods or your favourite tshirt.
I will never hear you say I Love You, or Mama, or scream at me from the lolly aisle at the super market. I don’t know what your cheeky laugh sounds like, or you sobbing wails. The day you died I was robbed of more than just your body. We were robbed of your entire life. And there is nothing – no words, no memories, no photos beyond 6 days in July 2014.
Avery, you are so very missed. By me. My others. They say your name, they talk about him. But there are only so many words that can be uttered about someone who most people never met. I am left being the one to talk, and I sometimes I feel I just run out of words.
Everything was stolen from us when you were taken. When you slipped silently into this world, grey, slippery, and heavy. So heavy. You took the air from my lungs as you were placed on my chest, and I have not been able to breath fully since. I wish I could say that I wear the pain like a badge. But I don’t. I hide it, and run from it. Run from you.
I cannot help but feel so angry that you never took a breath. I never saw your skin flush with new life. I never heard you cry, I never saw the stormy tempest of your eyes searching through the light for me. So many nevers.
I have not been able to write for so long. I just have not felt the motivation, the desire. I need to find time for you. For Tara and Caelan too. So much of you lives in this blog and it is unfair on both of us for me to let it slide.
If only my words could bring you back. If only my love. If only.
But you were never meant to be here. You were always meant to be just a blip on our radars, whose shadow remains long after we passed you by. It does not make it easier. Nothing is easier when your baby is dead.
I just wish you were here. Snuggled with us. Not the void in our hearts.