To the momma who lost her child…
I know you. I understand you. I’ve been there. My son died – a year ago, today! When I should be waking up to his midnight cries, I was crying alone at midnight. When I should be by his cot and cradle, I was by his hospital bed. When I should be feeding him and playing with him, I was arranging for his funeral. I died a 1000 deaths everyday after. Please know that I know you. If I hugged you now, held your hands tight, you’d know that I know.
You are breathing, and there’s your child in every breath. Your heart is beating, and every beat yearns for that one more kiss & drool. I know, you wake up with the same thought that you sleep with. And, that thought, will last till your last breath. I promise. And, that thought will give you the strength – the strength to mourn & grieve your child the way you want, and finally, breath with a different air. Because, that’s the only way out.
You smile, you laugh, you crack jokes, but I know. I know the scars behind the smile, the tears behind the laughter, the grief behind the jokes.
Friends and family meet you. They talk to you. About work, hobbies, weekends, their kids. But not about your kid, and that hurts. I know. You silently hope the next sentence to be about your kid. The kid that left your arms too soon. You hope to hear their name. You truly wished they asked you, but they don’t.
And, when you hear their name, you beam with pride. Yes, your kid. Their name. Their existence. Their short life. Their struggle. Your struggle. Hearing their name is an acknowledgement of all these. I know.
Move on doesn’t mean anything to you, because you don’t. Because it doesn’t heal that easily. Because it was a piece of you. You move on differently than others. You move on with your little one’s thoughts. All the time.
You look at their pictures. You wish you had more of them. You wish you kissed them more. You wish you held them longer. You touch the pictures – how you wish you could still touch them in real. I know.
You enjoyed your pregnancy. You were happy. You were nervous at times. There was excitement. There was anticipation. There was planning. You had tears when you first heard those tiny heart beats. You looked forward to the ultra sounds. You felt their kicks and jabs. You smiled. You had happy tears. You made your world with them. I know.
Know that others wouldn’t understand you completely. Your parents, siblings, friends, in-laws, colleagues, acquaintances, unless they share the same experience. Know that they want you to get over it. Know that they might be uncomfortable with your crying. Know that they’ll say a lot of at leasts. Know that what they say or do will make no sense to you. Know that they don’t know it, though.
Know that they ask you to plan for another kid. It hurts. That’s a different kid. Unborn. You had a kid, whose sex you knew. Whom you loved deeply. Whose existence mattered. You wish they spoke about them, and not about the unborn ones. They are no replacement to the one you just lost. No replacement. I know.
When you hear about pregnancy & birth announcements, you contemplate – between congratulating and looking for a cover to wrap under. You are not jealous. You are not unhappy for them. Pain is the word. Helplessness is another.
Your life has changed. Your priorities are different. You are not the person that you once were.
You don’t make your bed anymore. You don’t care about the unfolded laundry for days. Or maybe weeks. You also would ignore the stains on your curtain. You don’t remember when you last went to your favorite corner of the house with a mug of coffee just to sit & enjoy. You also don’t want others to know all these because being termed ‘depressed’ or ‘cry-baby’ like it was in your hands is never a fun thing to hear.
When you need to cry, do that. When you need to be alone, ask for it. When you feel like talking about them, talk. You don’t need to hide any of these. Be honest with your grief. I’ve faked it, and I regret not being honest.
You are brave. You live the loss of your child. There’s nothing braver than this. I know. I’m very sorry for your loss. You just didn’t lose your child. You lost the giggles and drools. You lost the midnight cries. You lost their crawls. You lost the picky eater. You lost the first day of school. You lost the teenage tantrums. Among many other things. I know.
Friend, I’ve walked in your shoes, and I struggled the walk. Bumpy. Bruised. Thorny. I hope those shoes are broken and no mother gets to wear them again. Ever. Because, I know…