four years gone
Four years ago this week, our lives were forever changed in ways that were difficult to fathom even then. The magnitude of what was happening soon become evident.
Our only child — who came to us after nearly a year and a half of trying to conceive — was slipping away before we would ever meet. Within the week, our son would be gone.
He never took a breath of life. I never even got to hold him.
But he was real. He was loved and cherished. His loss left a gaping hole in my heart and took a piece of my soul.
I still remember the events as they unfolded, just as it happened four years ago. I think about those dark days now and I feel an odd sort of comfort that only distance can provide. I don’t allow myself to go there so often anymore. But I still remember.
I still grieve for our baby boy and the child he would have become.
I still think of him and wonder what he’d be like, how his laugh would sound. Sometimes I picture what he’d look like, running around with his cousins. I think of the life we never had together.
I remember him when he was due to be born, though no one else does. I think about the poem I shared to honor him on the anniversary of his death. When we were trying to find a way to say an impossible goodbye, I could not imagine a future in which I would ever heal from the pain of losing him.
Even now, four years later, his loss leaves an indelible mark. They say that raw grief is like an open wound that over time heals into a deep scar that no one else can see or feel. I still feel the remnants of that scar. Sometimes I hold it close to my heart, for it is all I have left of him.
Last year as I remembered, I wrote about making peace with my heart, about forgiving my body for its failure to sustain him, for its inability to nurture life at all. As it was, he would be the only child that my love and I would ever make together.
Today we are blessed in other ways, with a beautiful daughter who somehow found her way to us. In all likelihood, she would not be with us now were it not for our baby boy. Even her name is a variation of the name we had in mind for our son — the name we would not give him before we met him — though we did not intentionally plan it that way. In a sense, it’s a lovely way to honor him, but the name is also unmistakably hers alone.
So this week I remember our baby boy and send my love out to the universe, to the soul who was not ready to join us four years ago. I hope we meet some day, my sweet boy.