Coping with the night you left
This is the kind of the story that people don’t ask about. The kind of questions that they may be fearful of asking. They don’t want to upset you or trigger your tears. They want to acknowledge that your child was here but don’t want to feel the weight that may bear down with the answers you give.
This is about the night our son Foxx left. The question that was asked to me by another mommy who is coping with the loss of a child. You know, there are a lot more of us who are parents to angels than first meets the eye.
She asked me ‘Is there something that reminds you of your child?’
Every time she see’s a rainbow her and her husband remember their daughter. They feel her presence smiling right back at them. ‘Is there something that you feel is your son bringing his presence to this earth?’.
When I was asked this question a few weeks ago it made me tear up. It reminded me that weeks have passed and the conversations about my son have become less. Coping with the loss of a child hasn’t become easier. It has just become more distant. It is because we have survived. We are breathing, we are earth side parents but we are still grieving the loss of a child.
The night he left was a night I never forget. I can’t begin to describe the shattering of my heart. The way your body crumbles to resemble a shell that will never feel whole again. The night we drove through the world to our home and the whole earth around us was just exactly that. A big empty earth. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing special.
We spend time being grateful everyday for all that we have but sometimes we just need to grieve all that we have lost too.
Just as we entered our street the sky grumbled. It was storm season in Darwin but we were yet to see a storm until that very night, until we drove home to start a life we never planned. The biggest storm my eyes had ever seen. The heaviest rain, the loudest thunder, the brightest sky.
I felt like the heavens were crying with me.
I forgot about all of this until I was asked. I forgot that the deepest of storms remind me of that very night. The night our son left. It reminded me too that despite this storm the sun still shone the very next day. The sky as bright and a rainbow seeped through the clouds. After a storm, comes a rainbow.
Grief still sneaks up on me and takes my breath away.