The absence of noise.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

In place of my son I have a box and a bear. This box contains baby grow, a red book, lots of bits of paper, documents that prove the existence of a life, it also contains photographs, a postmortem report. The bear holds ashes.
We don’t look like mothers, those of us that whose children have died, and yet mothers we are. I had all the thoughts of a mother, all the feelings, and no outlet for them. I had had the experiences, birth, feeding, bad nights, good nights, I knew what to do and yet these things remained inside me
The first two weeks I was a One rather than a Two and I didn't want to be. Nothing held any meaning. My house and arms were empty, my heart broken beyond any fixing. My bed was my refuge and I didn't move for days. I didn't have the drive to move. I didn't have the drive even to eat, for a month, maybe more (time at this point became a torture and I refused to acknowledge it), I survived on cuppa soup and smoothies. Liquids. Wine. A lot of wine. The world did not grieve with me either, some friends did, family grieved for themselves. 
The first month was marked by someone saying "I can't believe it's already been a month" – as if I needed to be told that when I basically knew it to the minute, even though I didn't want to.

I hated pregnant women. I hated babies. I hated children, and I hated adults because my son would never become either of them. I hated how they took everything for granted and how their families took them for granted.

It did not take particularly long before most went on with their own lives. I had to learn how to be me again, only the old me - the student, drinker, carefree person - was long gone. The me I became then was a cheap imitation of myself. I used alcohol to mask the blistering grief I felt and as a way to talk about my son without breaking. I blamed myself, though there was nothing to blame. Rather than open myself to the world I closed off, completely and entirely. I closed all feelings in a little box and left it. 
But I was not even a person anymore. I was just a lie. 
You know when they say that SILENCE IS DEAFENING? There is no other time where the phrase is as apt as when you have lost a child. There is an absence, and that absence is something that wasn't there before and it something that is so obvious to you. The quiet where there should be crying and cooing. Noise. I believe this to be among the worst memories. The silence when I realised what had happened, and the echo of that silence behind my panic, the silence from him that followed, the silence in the house when I got home and that continued on for over a year. 

Even now, with the noise of a baby, there is a distinct lack of his voice, not silence now but not as much sound. There is always going to be an absence of noise, even when Edie finds her voice and she starts screaming and yelling I know that there is one very important voice missing.

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