Monday, December 03, 2007

The beautiful and the gruesome

We rock gently back and forth...wrapped in the softest of blankets...skin to skin...warmth on warmth. I feel his breath on my breast and watch his face for those big smiles that hold the secrets of peaceful sleep. I put my finger in the palm of his hand and he reflexively grabs hold. So tiny...yet so strong.

In the bed next to me, my little towhead boy rolls over in his sleep with a sigh, stretching out his arms and legs in his usual starfish pattern, some appendages protruding out from under the warmth of the covers. One leg lands somewhere in the middle of Steve's torso. I hear Steve mutter something in his sleep and gently push our sleeping boy back to his middle part of the bed. It makes me quietly giggle...this game of king of the bed...last one with an inch of bed space wins.

A bitter wind is literally howling outside our windows. I can see the outline of the big tree as it is battered back and forth, bending but not breaking. I can see the slightest snowfall in the glimmer of the Christmas light decorations on the front porch below.

And I can not help but think...

I love them with a fierceness I did not know I possessed. I celebrate their lives...their love...their very being. And yet I know we are not complete and we never will be. I feel that cold wind as if I am standing naked out in it. My babies. How do I snuggle with two and visit two in a cemetery?

Alex would be two-and-a-half. Travis would be just over one year old. But they are frozen in time...frozen in death. I still feel desperation when I think of their silence. A part of US is out there in the cold and I still long to wrap them in my arms and cuddle them until they are warm. How do I resolve myself to the feeling that although my arms are currently full, they will always feel ever so slightly empty?

I do cherish every moment I have and I no longer look for reasons why. No answer will take away the hurt. Holding him in my arms does not make me miss them any less. It smooths the rough edges a bit, but it does not make me forget.

I still mourn those moments that will never be...

4 comments:

Bon said...

i know this feeling, especially in the winter when the wind is cold. we didn't bury Finn, but planted a tree in our backyard with some ashes beneath it. and on Christmas eve last year i went out in the snow late at night to bring him some ornaments. and it was so frigging desolate and cold out there that i came inside and sobbed for an hour...because i was afraid, if he really WAS out there in some way, what kind of mother was i being, leaving him out in the cold?

there are places it will always cut deep, and never make sense.

i am glad that, despite that, you get these moments with Myles and Sam. i know one doesn't cancel the other. but it is good to have joy with the sorrow, nonetheless.

Julia said...

I think this is very natural. We love our children as distinct individuals they are, so we have to take that with the flip side-- the unique one(s) missing is/are just that-- the unique one(s) missing.

Laura said...

It's so hard when it wintertime comes. I think about the frozen grass over his grave and I think--oh jesus, how can I just leave him there? And when I'm holding Ben or watching him sleep, sometimes it's really hard for me not to cry. Thanks for this post...it helped me get my brain around what I'm feeling, too.

Julie said...

What you wrote is so sad that it is beautiful in a heartbreaking way, if that makes any sense. We have these feelings that run so deep yet remain so sharp; I can't even find the words to describe them. You have expressed how I feel and it brings me to tears. Big hugs.