My son died.
It hits you everyday. Some days, harder. As hard as it can get.
The thoughts come in at random times. There’s no defined pattern. It could be when you are having breakfast, during an office meeting, watching TV, taking a shower, in the middle of a party…
It has hit me while shopping groceries. It has hit me on a coffee break with a bunch of colleagues at work. It has hit me while working on a complicated excel sheet with way too many vlookups enough to screw up the numbers. It has hit me at the ruins of Angkor Wat on our holiday to Cambodia. Woman, you should be focusing on the ruins of the largest religious monument in the world, built centuries ago, and listening to the tour guide about the amazing Khmer architecture. You paid a good amount of money for all these! Nop, if it’s Angkor Wat for 2 seconds, next is Ayden for 10. That’s how child loss works. In mysterious ways.
Then there are special occasions – your birthday, your spouse/partner’s birthday, wedding anniversary, your siblings’ weddings… Everything has your child attached to it.
When you see a kid who could be of your child’s age, you tell yourself – hold up now, you can let it out once you are home, in private. Even more, when you hold a kid who could be your child’s age… I’ll leave it at that. When I held a kid maybe 5 months older to Ayden, my head was spinning. Not figuratively; literally. This was a kid whom I had met 2 times and refused to attempt to hold him for the fear of hurting myself. As much as I wanted to experience that holding-a-baby-close-to-heart, I told myself to refrain. The 3rd time I met this kid, in the elevator to the parking lot, without any attempt from my side, he voluntarily jumped to me. Man, he got me this time. The feeling of holding, the warmth… That’s when the head spinning happened. After we sat in the car, I held him tighter.
At the airport when you see parents with infants getting priority to board, you keep thinking that you could have been one of them – not because you want to board first, but to be included in that category of parents.
When you overhear your colleagues talking about their kids – their school annual day, home remedies for cold, etc – you contemplate between putting on the headphones or still sneakily wanting to listen to that conversation to get an idea of how life could have been for you.
It hits you when you get the package from the stem cell bank congratulating you for protecting your kid for life.
It’s almost business as usual when you get emails from those parenting websites that you had signed up for, during pregnancy. The pregnancy weekly updates have moved on to be ‘your baby at 8 weeks old’ kind of updates. But then there are days when they remind you on the things to keep in mind when your baby starts crawling, or when they start solids.
Then there are also days like these when you randomly wake up at 3:30 am & wonder what just happened – not to the sleep, but to your child.
I’ll say it again – it’s not just your child that you lose. You lose the fairytales, the broken tooth, the picky eater, the first day of school, the teenage tantrums, you lose a lifetime!
And, those moments when it hits you harder, you lose much more than all these!