Every few days, lately, and today is one of them, I wake up fine. I grump to the kitchen and start preparing coffee. Somewhere between bed and there, I start crying.
Today, I vividly remembered us walking out of the hospital, seeing the funeral parlour’s van outside with the little Moses basket that at the time contained my son’s body. The driver was inside filling in forms and I remember saying: How could they leave him out here all alone? to Nick. Then a voice to one side said, He’s not alone, I’m here.
Those words brought the tears this morning and they played over and over as I cried the morning into existence.
Jiff was the voice. He’s Nick’s best friend. He didn’t want to be there. Nobody wants to be “there” for that sort of thing. That sort of thing shouldn’t happen. But he was. And for a while, while I sat inside, on a gurney of my own, in a weird, numb coldness, trying to comprehend that my son was now dead, with people trying to comfort me, even though on the face of it, I didn’t need comforting, he stood outside – being there.
I’m not sure people understand what being there means. I’m not sure being there is a choice for the most part. I think mostly you’re just in the right place at the right time and that combination can bring immense relief to the people you’re unknowingly there for at the time.
I digress. The fact is, the sads have been coming more frequently. So much is happening in our lives. To you, they’re all ordinary things. New cars being forced on you. Wedding planning. The frightening promises you’ve made to try and have another baby. To me, they’re disloyal. I should not be living. I should not be functioning without my boy. I should not have left his side that night or any other time during his short life. I should have died with him.
To moms who are going through this, or who have recently taken the slip way into Sad Street, it’s going to be weird forever. Some days you wake up crying and you don’t have a memory to blame. You’re going to be fine some days. Some days, you might forget you ever had a baby (I know… how dare I admit this!). Some days, you can focus on nothing aside from the mindfuck that reminds you he was here and now he’s not. Some days, it’s easy to laugh. Others, it’s easier to pretend to.
There’s nothing simple about this. Don’t try and make it simple and don’t listen to people who try and simplify it. Do cry though when you’re body needs to – and don’t let the guilt that comes with living creep into your cells. You’re a different kind of human now.