I miss him. My god, I miss him. I miss him so much it hurts. It actually physically burns in my chest. I miss the smell of him, the weight of him in my arms, the softness of that beautifully, crazy hair. Today is not his birthday. It's not the anniversary of the day he left me. It's not significant in any way except that it's a day that he's supposed to be here. I'm his mother and he's supposed to have outlived me. That's how this works, right? I mean, that's what everyone assumes anyway. Well, it's what you assume if you've never lost a child. If you have, you no longer carry the luxury of assumption.
I want him back. I understand that he's taught me many important lessons, none of which I could have learned, had he stayed here with me. He's opened my heart more. He's made me more patient, more kind, more open. And I'm a better person because he lived. But you know what? Despite all of that goodness, the truth is that it's just bullshit that he isn't here. I watched some videos today. Those are like deceptive gifts in beautiful paper, but when opened contain knives. They cut quickly and deeply. But you can't turn away. Because there he is. Right there on the screen. It's his laugh. It's his tilt of the head.
I want him back here with me. I want to complain about the messes he's making. I want to whine about being hospitalized again. I want to throw a tantrum over having to pack my things yet again only to be fighting a losing battle.
And we fought.
God, we fought so hard. My whole family fought, but sometimes it felt like it was he and I against the world. And I was naive enough at the time to think that if I loved enough and fought enough and PRAYED enough that it would save him. That it would, indeed, BE enough.
It wasn't. He's not here.
He's not here in the way I want him to be. No, I'm not content with him being an angel. I'm not content with him guiding me from some place I can't see. I want him here. I want gooey, sticky, baby kisses and sleepless nights again.
I'm angry and I'm sad. I'm hurt and I'm confused. I'm grieving and I'm broken. And today hurts a little more than yesterday and tomorrow will hurt further still. Because each day I move forward is one day further from that last moment I held him.
I'm surviving, sure. And I'm grateful for so many things in my life, but all of that gets to live alongside this constant pain. This is a forever sentence. I will feel this ache with my last breath. And there are days that I wonder if that breath could ever come fast enough.