There was a long period of time where I didn’t want you to be you. I wished and prayed (to the God of atheism) and begged and bargained and pleaded that you were any other baby. That you had been conceived a day later and all your genes had lined up perfectly on your winding strands of DNA and you had been born whole and completely healthy. That I hadn’t miscarried 7 months before you were conceived, and instead of birthing you still and lifeless, I’d brought that baby home. 

I wouldn’t, couldn’t deal with the reality of your death and instead ran a million impossible scenarios where you weren’t you. Where you weren’t the baby who broke me. I was so angry at you, at the world, at anyone who breathed, because you couldn’t. I couldn’t breathe because you weren’t. I didn’t want this. I wanted to be anyone but your mother. I needed to parent you in every way I could, but I didn’t want to. And I felt tremendously guilty that I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to pick flowers for your coffin or clothes to bury you in. I didn’t want to send invitations for your memorial service. I didn’t want to do any of it. I did because I needed to. Because you were that baby. You were the baby who needed a funeral. 

What kind of mother wants to trade their baby? I did. I wanted to a baby I could bring home in a capsule, not a box. I wanted a baby who nestled to my breast and fell asleep breathing lightly on my skin. I wanted a baby who’s heart was beating. I wanted any baby but you.

I hated everything about your death. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t how my life was supposed to go. This wasn’t who I was going to be. I wanted to be more than who you left behind, a mother so irreconcilably hurt, irreparably damaged, irrevocably changed. 

Because at the start I didn’t like who you left me behind as. I didn’t like the consuming hate and the anger, the rage and the blackness. I couldn’t hold it and I hated that you had left such destruction in my soul. I thought I would never, ever come back from that. 

I wasn’t prepared for you to be my axis. To be what my humanity revolves around. I wasn’t prepared for you to be such an omniscient presence in my world. I wasn’t prepared for life to be about “before” you and “after” you. It took me a long time to accept how much you could be in my world without being here. How much you are in my world exactly because you aren’t here. 

And I’m so sorry. Because now that the intensity of the shock of your death has worn, I am so incredibly grateful for who you are. For everything you have made me. For all the good you have brought to this world. Thank You for being my axis. You make me better. You make me more compassionate. More empathetic. More patient and more passionate. I am a better mother because I can’t hold you. 

It’s not all gone. All that pain. It’s not at all even near gone. It’s just not so awful anymore. I don’t hate it anymore. It’s still overwhelming sometimes. It’s still an all encompassing numbness sometimes. Sometimes it’s so heavy, I can’t hold it and I can’t breathe. But I don’t hate it. And I would never wish it away. 

I know now that I was wrong. Because even given the chance, I wouldn’t take what I begged and pleaded and bargained so desperately for in those early days. 

I would never choose a life where I didn’t know you. 

Over and over and over again, I would choose you. 


4 thoughts on “You. 

  1. Pingback: Word Project: Day Six | Painting The House Pink

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