It’s our birthdays next week.
While mine represents the passing of another year and a brand new number that represents my age and yours represents the what-should-have-been that I once looked so forward to celebrating, and, while you are forever stuck at between zero and four months and four days in our photos and memories, it is nonetheless our birthday week and it will always be that to me – for as long as I live.
I decided in December that my present to both of us would be turning the storage area your nursery has turned into into a quiet room. The room that we had no time to design with the insanity that was your life span had become a place to keep everything and it was not and still is not honouring you. But I want a safe place where I, and anyone who wants to can go to be quiet with you – to feel your spirit, to speak to you, to cry for you, to miss you – in peace.
But if I thought living through Christmas was impossible, I was wrong. This is impossible.
Much like living without you is impossible and yet we do.
Much like coming to terms with the fact that you’re gone is impossible and yet we try.
Much like giving up on our future with you is impossible and yet we have no choice.
The problem is the tomorrows that are living in that room – the clothes that would be fitting you now, the toys that would by today be age appropriate, the play pen we’d be sticking you into when we just couldn’t run after you anymore. It’s all there.
Along with the yesterdays – the heart monitor that woke us when your heart stopped beating, the packets and packets of nappies and wet wipes we bought just days before you died, the clothes you were in when you left us and the clothes that no longer fit you and were waiting to be passed down to littler babies who needed them more than you. It’s all there too.
It’s going to take me longer than I thought – I stop because I can’t see through the tears or I have to look at something for a long time as I try to remember the last time you sat in it or wore it. I’m nowhere near ready to move your clothing or your blankets or even your nappie box and bumcream but what I will have ready by the time our birthdays arrive is a seat for me and a seat for you in a room that is uncluttered by prams and camper cots.
You should know, although I think you already do, that we are planting a yearling Lemon Tree in your plot at the memorial gardens on your birthday next Tuesday. We will be planting it with your ashes – which will allow us, in a way, to watch you grow. I hope you see how we came to this decision and I hope it pleases you. I would only ever have wanted to make you happy in life and still want only that in death.
I don’t think I will be able to write next week so happy birthday, my Hudson. It is already a tough week and it won’t be different then. It is still the only thing I want in life to be able to have spent it with you. I also don’t want to celebrate my own day but I will be celebrating the memory of you, the dent your presence left in my life and my heart, and you, just you. I will remember how deeply my life has been changed by both your presence and your absence and we will raise a glass and a hope for you wherever you are… and we will never, ever forget you.