Sunday, December 27, 2009

Zoe

Zoe, my baby girl. I miss you. I envy those who have the courage to sit and pen a poem to their lost angels. I can't do it. It hurts too much to think about you for the length of time it would require of me to do you justice.

Life with your baby brother is now so busy I feel I hardly have a moment to think of you. He brings me such joy, you know? He's the complete opposite of your big sister. She's so pensive; he's so full of joy. I wonder what you are like?

I was struck afresh this evening that my hunger for you will never vanish. What I wouldn't give to have you hug me, or smile at me, or laugh with me, or to have one conversation with you.... Of course, only one of any of those would never be enough - in fact, it might make my longing even worse, but I'd still gladly pay whatever price was demanded for it.

I miss you so much, baby girl. I can't explain it to anyone who hasn't lost a child. They just don't understand. I'm not even sure I do. I'm not sure how one continues to grieve for a person you never knew, but I do and I know that I always will.

Those 9 months were all too brief, and I know I didn't pay attention to you the way I should have, the way I did when I was pregnant with your sister, or with your brother. With her, she had my attention because the whole experience was so new. With your brother, he had my attention because I was so terrified I would lose him like I lost you. But you, sweet child... I lost out on you, and you lost out on my love as a result. I was so busy looking after your sister, working, and hurling my guts in the loo it never even occurred to me that anything might be wrong. I'm so sorry. I really am. I wish I could do it over and love you the way you deserved to be loved.

And now, even though I have your brother to hold and cuddle, tonight I still feel the empiness you left behind. And there are no words for that. I miss you. I ache for you. I love you - please never forget that.

I hope and pray that we will meet again, and that we will celebrate Christmas as one big happy family one day. Until then though, however happy and joyful our Christmases are, I know that part of my heart will always be sad, because you aren't with us and I wish you were. I wish you were.

I wish I could see your smile, hear you laugh, watch all your 'firsts' - rolling over, starting solids, pushing up on your arms, crawling, learning to hold your own bottle, taking your first step, saying your first word... I wish I could watch you sleeping, with your arms spread wide and your breathing even. I wish I could get scared because your infant breathing was so shallow it would seem you weren't breathing at all. I wish I could blow zerbits on your tummy, and feet, and in your neck. I wish I could how much pleasure you derived from the life around you. I wish I could watch you develop your skills - would you have been a painter, or a writer, or a musician, or a sportswoman, or a baker? I wish I could have held your hand as you stepped out into the road. I wish I could have taught you how to ride a bike and swim. Much, much further down the road, I wish I could have watched you graduate and get married.

I miss you, darling child. And I grieve for all the things that parents are usually privileged to experience with their kids. I grieve for not seeing your beautiful face, or smelling your sweet baby smell....

... and nothing can put that right or bring you back.

and yet the longing continues. It is easier now than it was in the beginning. I can usually talk about you now without even feeling a twinge of a tear. I can think about you without crying.

But still, it's the unexepcted grief that side-swipes me; the little things. Like tonight and watching that movie. Absorbed in another's story, I often don't realise how open my heart is, and how vulnerable, and then a line is delivered like that one, and because my heart isn't guarded, the pain rises again to the surface.

Crying helps, oddly. Even though it's hopeless crying, because I know that the pain remains after I have no more tears to cry, it still helps, somehow. It feels good to acknowledge once again just how precious you are, and how much I miss you, and how much I love you.

One day, my precious, we will be together again. I know that. But the waiting seems to go on for so long.

Yet I dare not speed it up, or hurry it along. Your brother and sister still need me. My heart would break afresh if they had to grow up without my love. I pray that God spares me until they are old with children of their own, so that I may love them fully and completely, the way children are supposed to be loved. But making that choice also means that I choose to prolong my private agony. I guess that's the sacrifice of being a parent to you. Every parent makes sacrifices for their children - sometimes the sacrifices are for all the kids, and sometimes they are for an individual child. This is my sacrifice for you - that right now I have to put the living before the dead.

And as if he knows - your brother is stirring. I love you, sweetheart. Always. Merry Christmas.
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