It has been seven months since I gave birth to William and Noah and became a mother to children I would never bring home. The speed at which life continues after the death of a child is startling. I cannot believe it has been one week. A month. Almost eight months. A year before we know it.
In so many ways it feels as if it just happened yesterday. I recall the smell of the all too familiar hospital. The feel of Matt’s hand in mine. The clothes he was wearing. The physical pain of my twelve hour labour so inconsequential in comparison to the insurmountable pain of knowing each contraction was bringing our sons closer to their death. To give birth to them meant an end to their life. Holding William in our arms as he died is a moment that will live with me forever.
The night we left the hospital and returned to a dark and silent house, with only a memory box and a feeling of emptiness inside, stays with me. We are different people now. Our world is fragile, we know it will never be the same again. It took three months after William and Noah died before the fog of shock cleared and the stark reality set in. Suddenly it became a struggle to get up, to eat, to dress. To breathe. At times it still is. You do not get over the death of your children; our grief and pain will be there forever.
There are still more days with tears than days without. Not an hour goes by when I don’t think about our sons. Each day I look at the photo of their precious little faces and wish I had them here to hold. Some days strength abandons me, some days the physical ache returns. These days of raw grief come out of the blue, you can never predict when they will arrive.
Living without your children requires endurance. Death is forever. It is so huge it is incomprehensible. Sometimes the overwhelming endlessness of it all completely consumes us. It never goes away, it just shifts position with the passing of time. But we are still surviving. We live a life we wish we didn’t have to, but we’d rather have known William and Noah for a brief time than never at all. We can live with this life because it means they will always be a part of us.