Here we are. Two years.

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It’s here. This day has been homing in on me for weeks.

As I begin to write this, at 2:21 p.m., it was exactly two years ago that my husband and I wandered around the mall with my induction prescription in hand, wondering how we’d manage family phone calls to tell everyone that the baby had died.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been realizing that hot weather is now a trigger for me. It gets warm and sticky and suddenly I think of cabbage leaves and ice packs and bitter sage tea (it wasn’t any better iced). Sorrowing days. Plans and purposes unhooked, dangling. And so much crying. Writing and crying.

And, as I am grateful to remember, enormous love.

We have been using the air conditioning more than usual, because my coping skills diminish in proportion to the rising humidity. I regularly get tears in my eyes over some inconsequential thing; at first I kept thinking, What is wrong with me?? But once I made the connection, it all made perfect sense.

Feeling grouchy, frustrated, and short-fused is not cleansing grief. When I’m just grumpy, and not feeling close to my Sebastian, it just makes me depressed. And anyway, how do I put into words what it means to “feel close” to a son I only held in my arms once he was already gone?

I have a friend whose beloved stillborn son should have turned four just as my firstborn did. She is an amazing source of wisdom and words that fit perfectly. She says Crying is love. This is exactly true. Crying is the best way I know to access what I have of my son – which is mostly just love.

As I was telling another caring friend who wrote me a much-needed note this morning, a day like this shows me how seldom I let myself think deeply about Sebastian. I can’t afford to get weepy every hour (especially because E already does that). Reality needs me to function reasonably well.

Even at times when I am thinking of him, I’m not necessarily feeling him. Yesterday, our little family took a trip to the local pottery shop to make a clay memorial marker for Sebastian. I was glad we did, but mostly I thought about Are those letters straight and Is E getting bored and It’s almost Baby AB’s nap time and Please don’t let anyone impale him/herself on an etching tool.

I guess that’s for the best. I mean, I know it is. I wouldn’t have wanted to weep all over our clay masterpiece. But it’s a good thing there are days like today, when I can sink into the sadness for a little while (the length of a baby nap). Strangely, it’s sort of a good sad. Good in a heartbreaking way, because that’s how I get to feel close to my baby.

Last night, waiting for sleep, all I could think of was his face. I still remember it – I deliberately tried to imprint it on my mind – but it’s getting harder. I thought about the feel of his cheek, so incredibly soft, but cool and pale and lean, never having had the chance to fill in. I lay there and listened to his sister breathing beside me, she of the warm, rosy, very chubby cheeks. My heart was so full, it was hard to breathe.

I know there are countless ways to lose a child. When I hear the awful stories of other bereaved parents, I usually feel grateful that our loss was as simple and peaceful and unpreventable as it was. At the same time, when I think of how it felt to let my little boy leave my arms forever… the pain comes back, sharp and raw. The simple version of loss still hurts a lot.

Also when I think of E, and how he would have played with his brother, how they’d probably share a bunk bed already, and chase each other, and squabble over dinky cars… and how I’m not sure we are succeeding in keeping him reminded that he once had a baby brother he never met – how one of these days, it will suddenly become real for him, and I don’t know what we’ll do then… Those thoughts hurt a lot too.

I ferociously wish I could protect my E from this loss, and I’m incredibly thankful for him and for my vivacious little rainbow girl, and I miss my tiny unknowable boy so much, and I love all three of them to death-defying heights.

As I finish writing this (having done some reality in the interim), it’s 10:36 p.m. Two years ago, I was feeling the first twinges of contractions, and I was just over four hours away from giving birth.

So tomorrow is Sebastian’s birthday.

A lot has happened in those two years. I know I am different. Still his same mom, though.

Thank you so much for reading today.

***

Image from Wikimedia Commons.


 

 

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40 thoughts on “Here we are. Two years.

  1. Maureen P-H says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s beautiful and honest in the best ways. I will be holding your family in the light.

  2. Quinn says:

    Bessa heart. Hugs, hugs, hugs. I can relate to sadness feeling *good* sometimes, if only because it’s raw and real, and that’s what you need sometimes.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      <3 Thank you, Devan. I hope you are feeling well and all is going smoothly! I think of you often and send best wishes.

  3. berty says:

    Love to you and S and E and AB and all the family. Love and hugs… gentle hugs, but stronger hugs than I could stand to give you two years ago, since you are stronger now than then.
    My wish for you is that one day your memories of him will just pop out sometimes when you see joyous, lemony beams of sunlight, the not too hot ones, ones that don’t stick or make you grumpy… the kind that make you feel happy and close to your angel, and glad for the time you got to spend carrying him. I know it’s important to have twilighty, weepy, sink-into-it times. I know. But I want to believe that, even though what happened was unbearable at the time, one day, the right way to honour this little family member’s memory will be with a smile. I bet it seems not very possible. But babies always deserve smiles from their parents, don’t they?
    I love you, love you, love you. Love you.

  4. anna says:

    Sending all the caring, loving light I can beam to you four beauties. Bless your tears and bless your ‘reality’ moments. I love you so so so so so so much!! xoxo

  5. Beverley says:

    Anniversaries are very difficult. I remember crying when my sister died and someone said to me “Tears are a tribute to the person you loved”. I’ve always remembered that……so cry for that beautiful little boy that you were privileged to know. Much sympathy to you.

  6. emerge says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t see this when you first posted it! But I have been thinking about this time – my second hectic week of work – two years ago, and how different it was. How work just seemed like the last thing that mattered then, when you called me to tell me Sebastian had died. Nothing made sense at all then. I’m glad you can still remember how it felt to hold him, as awful as it was to know it was the only time, and that you can describe it so well that we can almost feel it too.

    Crying and loving you right now.

  7. Auntie CL says:

    filled with tears and love for you and for Sebastian and the rest of the family. you are doing this thing right, untrodden ground, though it is.
    love you all
    CL

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