My baby son, Will, went to heaven on this night six years ago. I wrote about him and his life and his death last year. If you thought that this blog was only about being a widow and a single mama, well, that’s only part of the story.
I think about Will in my dreams. He doesn’t often surface anymore. We didn’t have a video camera and digital cameras weren’t the norm when he was tiny. I can’t remember his cries or his babbles. Is that terrible?
I have so many regrets about my son. So, so many. I can’t even count them.
I know people who have as their life motto that they “live life without regrets.” Gee, must be nice.
This is the part where I list my regrets. Starting with wanting to not be pregnant anymore (even though, clearly, that was the only safe place for him) and ending with not buying the stupid video camera. I would give any amount of money for the girls to see and hear their brother in action.
I also regret not reaching out to others who have lost a child. When he died, the hospital sent us a brochure for the “Miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss support group”. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t see past my own hurts to be with others. I still don’t understand why anyone would want me, who buried an 11 month old, to attend a meeting with folks all broken up over a miscarriage. That’s not to say that it’s not traumatic. If that’s the worst that will ever happen to you. But my son was living, breathing, eating, smiling, noisy and cuddly.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’m so, so tired. And I think that, for today, I’m just out of tears.
I guess that there is no comparison to losing a child. None at all.
He was our future. And we left him at the Emergency Room. Wrapped tightly in a blanket to keep him warm for just a little while longer. And we walked out, Stephen and I, hand in hand, shortly after dawn. A beautiful, fall day.
And I was the one with regrets.
I regretted that it wasn’t me. I wanted to trade places with my baby.
I would have given anything in the world to give him a future.
Right after Stephen was diagnosed, we talked long and hard about what we thought we should do. About his treatment and his illness and about the girls. Knowing full well what the outcome would be. I said “Maybe you’re supposed to go and be with our son….and I’m supposed to stay here with our girls…and someday…we can all be together again.”
And right after Stephen died, I took comfort in knowing that he was with Will…rocking him…walking with him…teaching him to fish and how to make a fire without matches. It still comforts me.
And yet, the regrets keep coming back. I can’t help myself.