Monday, June 15, 2009

Remembering W

It's been a strange day today; at one moment hot and close, at the next big splashy drops of rain were hitting my windscreen as I drove along and thunder rumbled but never quite made it.

It's been a strange day for another reason; tomorrow would have been the thirteenth birthday of my son William who was stillborn at term.
The weather isn't exactly the same but it is similar. At times today I was almost there again, the day before - thirteen years to the day - pegging out Patrick's old baby clothes which I had tenderly washed ready for the new arrival. The sun was blazing and I revelled in bringing them in from the line, scented with fresh air and hope, as the nesting instinct took me over.

I can almost see me, a young mother with no idea of what was about to hit her, apprehensive about the coming labour, excited and full of love.
My world fell apart the next day and even now, over a decade later, I feel the loss deeply, a hurt that will be with me to my dying day. There are scars on my heart but I've learned over the years to live with them. Nobody could live with that terrible agonising grief that comes over you in the first year but fortunately nature is kind and allows you to put that grief in a little box, subdues it and lets you live again although you never forget.

The exception is anniversaries like tomorrow when I let it out for a few moments, look at it and put it back for a while.
And so tomorrow I will go to the cemetery with my mother, clean the headstone with a cloth, cut the grass around it with some scissors, shed a few tears and talk about that awful day for all of us before heading home with a sigh and a backward glance. I probably won't return for another year because the truth is he isn't there really, he never was but he is always with me and always will be, just as my other two darlings are.

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