A year ago today was your due date.
I spent a lot of the last year feeling, saying, thinking “I’m fine”.
And then I’d walk past the baby boy section of Target
or someone would see my growing belly and ask if it was my first
and I’d wondered how honestly to answer.
I didn’t think about dates much.
The “you would have been this old” thoughts
but I was acutely aware that I wouldn’t have been growing Ella if I hadn’t lost you.
That still guts me most of all.
Thinking that you may look down on me from heaven
and wonder if you were replaceable to me.
I wanted you so badly and when you were taken before I ever really got you,
I was desperate to feel something other than despair.
Everyone told me I was rushing.
Everyone told me it was too soon to even think of trying again.
That I was just grieving and I was just trying to replace you.
I needed to keep moving forward. I needed to feel hope.
And I never wanted to replace you but I couldn’t bear to stand still in my aching for you.
I wish so badly that I could have you both right now.
I wish I was better at writing about you
but I still don’t even know how to process you.
I replay the events of that day.
I scrutinize all the days leading up to that day.
I obsess over every bite I ate, every sip I drank,
every position I slept in all the days that you were growing inside of me.
I wonder the exact moment when you went to be with Jesus.
What was I doing in that moment?
I have berated myself for waiting too long to go in.
I have questioned my instincts and my worth as a mother
because how does a good mom carry her dead child without knowing it?
I think about how in those last agonizing moments, before I delivered your body,
I was thinking about pop tarts.
I think about how we let the hospital take care of your body
instead of calling a funeral home. And I wonder if that was the right thing to do.
Should we have held a funeral?
Should we have held your body longer?
Did they just throw you out?
I think about how it is possible to shed so many tears
over someone you never really got to know.
I think about what you looked like and I barely remember
but I can’t bring myself to look back at the photos because it hurts too much.
Ian. My voice cracks when I say your name.
Most of the time I have to just whisper it because it hurts to say it out loud.
I’m so glad that you will never know what loneliness, despair, and heartache feel like.
That you will never doubt your worth, question God, or shed a tear.
That when you opened your eyes for the very first time they were staring into the face of God.
I wish you were with me but I’m so glad that you are home.
I love you.