Today and tonight, the weight is so heavy. My heart feels flattened, utterly crushed.
We went out to dinner. The girls were in fine, adorable form. Both insisted that I put their hair in spiky ponytails on top of their heads. Hazel got down from her chair to dance to the music coming from the overhead speakers. They were both vital, happy. The vibrancy they emanated only served to map the empty space around them. My heart was simultaneously buoyed and so heavy.
A trio of people sat near us, and I could see that they were amused and delighted by the girls’ antics. All I could think was that they saw a happy family of four. They weren’t aware that a huge part of our family is missing – gone for all time. We just looked like any ordinary family.
We aren’t ordinary. James made us extraordinary. He introduced us to both a love and a grief that we could never have predicted. He gave us an experience that changed the path of our lives.
It is sometimes hard to believe that it’s only been 7 months. Seven months since we heard the words Trisomy 18. Seven months since I cradled him safe within me. Seven months since we knew that the beginning was also the beginning of the end.
How to explain that feeling? How to explain seeing my son’s eyes for the first time? Those dark blue eyes that looked far older than their minutes and days. That still, quiet face that watched mine so intently. I look back at pictures, and he was always watching me. Even nestled under my chin, his eyes were on my face.
Did we do the right thing? Did we fail him? Does it matter? Ultimately, we gave him all that we had, and he gave us everything in return.
Someone told me today that James and I were like the sun and the moon. We radiated light between us, surrounded ourselves in the glow, and everyone could see it. He was the sun to my moon. He lit me up, illuminated who I really am. I am still the moon, radiating the light of my son.
He is still here. He is still in my DNA, still in my body, my mind, my heart, my spirit. When I look at the night sky, I remember that we all came from the stars. We are all stardust. One day, I will return to the stars. And he will be waiting for me there.