Thank you, Angie, for suggesting this and remembering you suggested it……
I went to a DIY shop with the kids last Sunday – a big ware-housey one, crammed with everything from gardening equipment to light bulbs, cat food to shower trays.
The Little Boy Racer disappeared.
After about five minutes searching I went up to the customer service desk and explained the situation. The manager, who clearly had not tuned into the world of five year olds for a very long time, went over to the microphone and said “Would the Little Boy Racer please report to the reception desk?!” I tried explaining that LBR hadn’t studied reception desks in school yet and even if he had, wouldn’t have a clue where this particular unlabelled desk was situated in the shop, then went back to my searching, looping the shop with a more helpful young man who knew that under shelves and behind bags of dog food were the obvious places to look.
The Giraffe Princess found him 20 minutes later out at the car.
Was your chest pounding with anxiety? a friend asked. It must have been terrifying.
I couldn’t tell her what was actually going through my head as I called his name and walked around and around and around – Two down, two to go.
Right where I am, I know children die. It’s not an impossibility anymore.
I think love is physical, at least the love we have for our children. It’s not an idea. It is so much more than that. There is no way an idea can hurt this much or hang around this long when the object of it is gone. So I think that when our babies are growing inside us, the love is growing too. It is an actual physical part of us. Laura is gone. Our babies are gone, but that love is still here, searching every day for the child it was destined for.
And as I write, Astro Boy has snuggled up on the bed beside me, read over my shoulder and whispered in my ear – I think there are parts of our bodies that doctors and scientists haven’t discovered yet.
I was thinking I would like to make something that I could wear so everyone would know – MY BABY DIED AND MY HEART IS BROKEN; like a black mourning band or a badge or something. I wondered what would be appropriate. Something that wrapped me completely, that enveloped me like this grief, something I could wear … like a coat, maybe. A coat might bring some comfort, some warmth. But then I thought I would need to put weights in the sleeves so my arms didn’t feel so empty, and maybe a heated insert just around my chest and … then it hurt too much to think anymore.
K says it is weird because it is like sometimes everything seems normal and yet it is so very very un-normal.
We are watching “Deja-vu” and the scientists are explaining to Denzel that they can see the past because they have managed to wrinkle time and are actually travelling parallel to the past. And suddenly the hope of Laura alive is back and I am realising that all those early feelings (the disbelief, the agony, the raw raw pain) have not gone away. They are like sediment, settled in my heart, always there, easily churned up again. Always there.
Tomorrow we are going out to celebrate my completing my MA. Celebrate? Did I say celebrate?
It doesn’t feel weird though or disrespectful or false. It is just right where we are at. Everyone who will be there knows about Laura, misses Laura with us. It is (remarkably) still possible to celebrate with a broken heart.