As we slip further away from the 15th March, it marks the anniversary of the first Mother’s Day that I spent without William. Every day until exactly one year since he left us marks a first anniversary. The first mothers day, the first birthday and of course we have already lived through our first Christmas without him. Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call it ‘living’ but more surviving, existing. That’s what every day feels like. I get up in the mornings, sometimes, this morning I couldn’t face getting out of bed until noon, why? why today? today I tread the fine line, the fine line between being left here on Earth with what life I have left and how much I yearn to be in heaven with my William. It is a balancing act. One of great magnitude. The feeling that engulfs my body with sheer despair and dread, weighing me down so heavily, exhausted by the time I get out of bed. Grief is silent, but so powerful.
Every day brings new emotions, some days it’s easier to function through the meaningless tasks, other days the grief hits you like a tidal wave and carries you along, not knowing where you will be discarded along the way. I function better than I did 13 weeks ago, but with that brings a heightened sense of clarity. I find myself often staring out the window or at my computer screen thinking about William’s lifeless body in the little white coffin. How every day that I visited him, I took him out of the coffin and cradled him in my arms. He was gone, he was cold, he was small, I would wrap him in a blanket but take his arm out. I would entwine his tiny little fingers in mine, warming his little fingers for the hour or so that I would sit and cuddle him. On one of the days that I went to visit him, in the hospital I was able to lay down on the chairs, William on my chest, just like he should be, to feel his skin on mine one last time. To drench his hair with mummy’s tears and for mummy’s tears to land in his eyes, for them to flow down his cheek. To trace my fingers along the small, perfectly formed eyebrows, down the contours of his face, following the curves of his cheeks, drinking in every last detail, never wanting to let go. In this moment, these precious last moments that I was able to hold my son for the last time, I closed my eyes, held William’s hand to my cheek and felt heaven, total peace at one with my little baby.
When I became William’s mum, long before I gave birth to him, the switch in my head carrying those maternal instincts that would allow my body and mind to nurture this little boy, switched on. When I was in labour, I said to Paul ‘what happens if he doesn’t love me? What happens if I don’t love him? What happens if I’m not a good mum’, Paul said ‘he already loves you, you already love him, you’re already a good mum, you’re all he knows’. I was all he knew. All of my senses to nurture, to love, to protect, to feed, to hold, to wrap him in my arms and keep him safe, that rush of love, a mothers love, so powerful, so sacred. Those deep brown eyes so trusting, so loving, held the bond between William and I, no words adequate enough to describe. But now, as I laid there with William on my chest, that look of love, that physical connection, my mind pleading with him to wake up. There was one memory so prominent, racing through my head, fighting for me to analyse it that little bit further. The one memory when I close my eyes I cannot escape from, the memory that I can reach in my mind and touch, feel, smell and relive over and over again. William’s eyes. William’s eyes on the morning that I found him. When I opened the blind that morning and I looked in William’s cot I knew he was gone, his eyes, fallen open. His eyes staring right through me. Cutting me in half. That look shattered my world, I was screaming, but William couldn’t hear me, when I touched him he couldn’t feel me, William no longer knew who I was, those eyes always fixated on a point behind me. No-one should ever see their child’s eyes like that, not knowing, not feeling or recognising me. I longed for those eyes to draw me in, fill me with the unspoken words of his soul, our connection. So, for now as I laid with him on my chest, I closed his eyes for the last time, I closed mine and drifted, begging this moment to last forever.