Hello my sweet, sweet boy.
It’s been a while, huh? I am sorry I have not spent the time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper. Or the computer as things may be.
Things, as always, have been hectic. Life seems to be suspended between perfect harmony and crazy-town. It is so hard to try and understand this new life, this life without you, but with Caelan.
He is such a perfect, beautiful baby. I look at him and love how much he is developing and forging a part of our family, and yet, you are still not here. I think part of me hoped that he would make me feel closer to you in some way, but I find myself feeling drastically removed from life where you were everything. Some would say that is a good thing. A good thing to move on, a good thing to not be trapped beneath a box of tissues, cloaked in darkness.
But I call bullshit.
How can not having you be the centre of our universe be a good thing? How can you fading into shadows be anything but a piss poor reflection on our love? If you were here you would be one of three, and loved and doted on equally with your siblings. But the equation does not add up. Because you are not here. You are not the one pulling your sister’s hair, or tickling your brother’s feet.
I find myself caught off guard when your image flashes through my mind. The Eternal Baby. Your brother is now bigger than you in every way. And will be always. Yet he is your baby brother. The irony is not lost on me. Not at all. But I do not look at him and see you. Never.
You were different to both Tara and Caelan. Your face, while similar was very different. Your hair was strawberry blonde at birth – but both Caelan and Tara were cloaked in black tufts when they embraced earthside. You were massive in length. It only catches me now just HOW big you were. Your brother is only now, 4 cm longer than you were at birth. Yet, you were skin and bone – 3200 grams lighter in fact. Part of me wonders if you ever belonged to us, or if you were always going to be called to the spirit realm.
I’ve found myself aching for you. Sometimes completely overwhelmed by the flashing memories that dart behind my eyes when my lids are closed. I don’t flash back often. But sometimes… sometimes it is so gripping that I have no idea where I am. I can smell your hair, taste your skin beneath my pressing kisses, feel your ice cold fingers entwined within mine. Gasping I try to reach for you. The world spins and I am both in the theatre and in my lounge room at once. I find myself unable to breath, clutching to the intensity because it is all I have.
And it is at that moment, when the air is burning my lungs and the tears are matting Caelan’s hair that I realise it was Then and this is Now. And in the Now you are but a box of ashes in a little brown suitcase.
I right now I confess I feel I am betraying you so much because I cannot even open your case. I am gripped with fear of the emotions that are bubbling so close to the surface. I cannot make my hands touch the locks and click them open. The brass latches are like branding irons against my fingertips. The burning emotions pain and guilt and betrayal scare me to a place I where I cannot even reach out and touch you. Your sacred place, your ashes, you.
The memories of your blanket against my skin, and you wrapped within it knock me down and I am swallowed by the grief like a sink hole swallowing the earth drenched beneath rain. As I sit here, tears engulf me and the air feels impossible to breathe in. Stiffling the tears so as not to disturb or wake someone in the house, trapped by the fear that my grief will scare all who touch it… Mar them with the black brush of despair that paints itself using my body as a canvas.
It feels so wrong to need to cry with such a beautiful family around me. Even though Tara is hard work, stubborn and bold, she is gentle and loving, and she doesn’t need to see the scary wailing erupt from my soul. Likewise, I don’t want to terrify Caelan with sobs that shake the cradle of my arms. And Ally – the rock who never cracks… He supports us all so much – it feels so wrong, so contrast to how it should be to allow myself to fall away piece by piece. One day he may fall, and I don’t want him to worry about how I will take it, how I will support him.
And even when I give myself permission to cry and wail your name to the night, I feel as though it is forced and corrupt. Because I don’t let is just come. It is planned and staged and tamed.
You are such a blessing to us, but I wish nothing more than to have you in my arms. I have Caelan and Tara, and I am so lucky to have them to hug and kiss each night, but there is this massive piece missing from the foundations of our family. There is nothing that can be done. No amount of candle burning, music playing, photo flipping will bring you closer to us.
As I prepare to write another speech about our time together, I thread the memories slowly and cautiously. Protecting my heart with the fibres of joy and happiness – memories of you that make me smile. I cannot avoid the tears all together, and I know that as people hear me utter your name, their tears will bind us all closer together, but I hope that there will be smiles and joy brought to them as I recall that special night with you. I will offer them a gift, some magic direct from you, from us. And I hope they will be touched in a way that goes with them long after they leave the talk.
Oh Avery, the words are all jumbled and the tears have gone icy against my cheek. I don’t even know what I have written any more. I don’t even know if it makes sense. It can all just be summed up with a few simple words though…
I miss you.
I love you.
I wish you were here.