I have seen over the years, posts of parents sharing how long they are without their child, in years, months, days and even hours. What I thought would be interesting, just overwhelmed and saddened me more.
Oh my gawd it hurts as it gets broken down. I can still remember as if it was yesterday. The softness of his hair. The brightness of his eyes and smile. The kindness in his heart. Then realizing how long it has been since I have heard his voice, touched his soft skin, or felt his loving hugs. 5 years! 5 long debilitating years. Over those years, not only do we have to live our lives without him with us. We also need to deal with ignorance around us. Words that don’t help. Words that hurt.
“It’s been 5 years already? You haven’t gotten over it yet?” No, parents don’t get over their child dying. 1 day. 5 years. 20 years. It all hurts. And it will be forever.
“You still celebrate his birthday? Isn’t that morbid?” Actually no, it honours our son on the day he was born and joined our complete family. It allows us to celebrate him on a very emotional day.
“You haven’t changed his room? Make it an office or something.” Wow! Thanks for the suggestion. An office is a great idea, but don’t suggest that to a parent who finds peace at looking at their dead sons room. Better yet, don’t make a suggestion at all. Until you bury your child, no one wants to hear what you think is “healthy” for us. Some people need to change their child’s room soon after, while others, like us, prefer to enjoy his room as he left it.
Besides all the noise that surrounds us, we have been able to remember Madox on this difficult day. Good and bad. We remember his last days. We remember his last hours. The last breath. The gut wrenching scream from his brother. The utmost hopelessness we felt as parents. It will never leave us. We also reminisce about the good times and memories we shared. His infectious giggle. His unwavering love for us. His goofy noises and faces. Those funny saying that still makes us smile. My favourite still after all these years, was when he was crying during swimming lessons. When I asked him why he was crying he responded “I’m still getting water in my nose even with the goggles”. I started laughing and told him that didn’t make sense. He just responded “I know!” and continued to cry and jumped back into the water. I instantly thought of that moment when I grabbed an old bag the other day and those blue goggles were sitting in there. It definitely put a smile on our faces when I pulled them out.
These days are hard, and I know they will always be hard. We are just learning how to handle them a little better each year. We visited Madox at his plot and laid next to him for a long while as the sun shone down on us. It was peaceful and needed. No one else around us. No words. No outside voices telling us what we should and should not do. Just us and our thoughts.
Madox, you are so missed. We love you with every cell in our body. We wish August 8 had no significance, and that we were just enjoying our summer day like every other family. We are sorry we couldn’t protect you and keep you safe. We are sorry life continues on, while you will always stay 9 years old. We are sorry. We are so very sorry. We love you so much.