Being home with your little brother, I’m so very much reminded of those early days at home without you. I sit on the sofa, nursing him, holding him tight, gazing at his small frame and features, and I listen to the birds sing outside and dive and dance in and out of our yard.
And I see you, colorless and empty of life, in a cold, dark hospital room. And I remember how I came home and slept all night, stayed in bed until the afternoon, didn’t eat, and cried every waking hour and in between.
I’m reminded of how my body continued to move on without you...postpartum bleeding, milk coming in, an unrecognizable figure, and no baby to make it all worthwhile.
I recall the intense and deep longing to hold you in my arms, press you tightly against me, and how I cried out in despair because you weren’t with me and would never be.
I’m feeling again how much I physically ached in those early days, along with the intensity of my disbelief, shock, confusion, jealousy, loneliness, shame, and anger.
I’m remembering everything I lost with losing you and how much I hate those postpartum days. Every breath, every moment of every hour, was just that...I couldn’t move forward. I didn’t want to move forward in life without you.
I would often sit mindlessly outside on our front bench. I would soak in the sun for healing, look to the sky for you, listen to the songs sung at your burial, and yearn, pine, and die inside.
All those feelings, all those memories, are returning...even while your brother rests in my arms.
I pull him close and whisper to him how much I miss you and love you. And I’m so thankful he’s here, in my arms (even though his early arrival has been so unexpected and exhausting), but he will NEVER replace you.
Part of me knew that when he was conceived. His presence has brought a healing and much longed for peace, but it has also brought up so much hurt. Because everything I do with him and for him is a reminder of what I never had the chance to do for you. And I ache and long for you all over again.
Those early days without you are haunting me. Their memory is not stealing my joy, but I’m remembering the emotions, the feelings, the sadness, and specific events of my life since your death. And it just hurts so much.
I love you, my girl. Missing you every moment.