I remember the day you were born. The early Autumn sun creeping through the window of the birthing room. My heart full of hope for you, eager to meet you, look into your eyes.
I remember the day you were born. The room full with love. Time marched ever onwards as we waited for you. Longed for you.
I wondered how it would be, having a son after only daughters. I worried.
Your father was excited to have a boy, anticipated his life with you.
I was supposed to birth you, feed you, nurture you. Supposed to…
I remember the day you were born. You didn’t cry when they pulled you from my being. You were so very still as the doctors worked around you. There were people and machines and noise but for an instant, there was just you and me.
I remember the first time, days later, that you looked at me. Those big blue eyes. I swam in their deep beauty, soaked them up. I touched your hand and your fingers curled around mine. A sweet moment between us, one to hold on to.
I remember watching your body fade, the whisper of death upon you. It was calling to you but we needed to say our goodbyes.
We christened you and for one last time you opened your eyes and took us in, as if to hold us close, as you went to a better place.
I remember we kissed you and told you of our love. We told you we were honoured to have met you but we knew you had some place else to be. We told you it was okay.
I remember the doctors stripping you down, leaving you naked without your tubes and wires. Just a boy. Flesh and blood. Unable to live without them.
I remember the day you died. It was sunny but in my heart the clouds were dark. I couldn’t hold you as you took your last breath in the late afternoon of Autumn. I couldn’t hold you because I had let you down. I could not give you life. I could only give you release.
I remember the day you died, my father dressed in a pure white shirt. It seemed out of place.
I remember family and friends helping your spirit fly away, helping us to let you go.
I remember the day you died. I held onto you for the first and last time. Your body still warm and although I willed your breath to come, it did not. I looked at you, at your features, without the tape and the tubes. I drank you in, hoping never to forget the weight of you, your smell.
I remember the moment that I gave you to the nurse. The last day I would ever see you. I wanted to run after her. I wanted you back but all I could do was cry and walk away. Leaving you with strangers.
With every breath that I have left in me I will remember you. I will honour you by loving your brother and sisters, your father and your cousins. I will remember the gifts that you gave to me and I will honour them by forgiving myself.
Today, as we remember all of the babies who have not survived this life, I will remember you, my son.