So I woke up this morning and my brain was filled with images of Hudson sitting in his bumbo for the first time.
These were some of the last photos we ever took of him. He was shy and proud, wobbling back and forth – at one point I thought myself a bad mother for not worrying about whiplash – alternating from giggling to sucking his shirt shyly when he finally figured out what it is he was supposed to be doing in there.
At some point during this memory, without realising it at first, I started to cry. I ended up crying til I gasped for air. I cried til I dirtied my hair with what felt like an unending stream of salty water. I cried til I began worrying about waking Nick, who was sleeping in the lounge, and our new housemate, Milo who was snoring in the larder. Then I stopped. And I was okay.
For the longest time I have felt nothing. I have avoided sad feelings altogether. I’ve even made jokes about this journey. I’ve been wanting to take down some of his photos (that hasn’t changed), I’ve avoided the conversation about and risk of falling pregnant again but Nick and I are better. But I’ve successfully not cried like this for what feels like a long time.
And I was okay this morning because I realised I’m not a robot. And I was okay with the reconfirmation of the fact that I have absolutely no control over this grief. And that that’s okay. It’s okay.
Every day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, who I’m talking to, awake or sleeping, every day I’m sitting at the edge of the ocean – some days the grief laps softly at my toes, easy to ignore, other times the wave laps at my knees leaving salty crystals that make my skin itch, and I’ll have a harder time ignoring the sads, but it’s mornings like today, where the waves come in at speed, knocking you over from the head down, that you remember you’re in this for life.
Two weeks, two months or two years later, you can still be completely and utterly floored by it and that’s not going to change, probably ever. My meis was right, the only thing that changes is the frequency.
But there’s hope. You do feel better. The knock-down-oops-I-didn’t-see-you-there-waves won’t come as often and you’ll be readier for them every time they do come.
Doesn’t make it suck any less. My son’s dead and what I have in return is an amazing capacity for sadness and I’m never going to be allowed to forget any of that.
But I’m still okay.