One of my best friends babies died a year ago. He was beautiful and it was an incredibly traumatic time. It’s not a poem, but I wanted to share the letter I wrote to him here. I wrote it just after he died, for his mum to keep in his memory box. She was an incredible mum for that short period, and I think of them both every day when I am lucky enough to be playing with my own little boy.
As I am awkward (as us silly adults are) I do not know where or how to begin this little letter to you. I can’t sleep even though I’d like to (weird isn’t it- we are strange, these adults) so I’ve been thinking about you and looking at photos of you, your mummy, and your daddy from over the last couple of months. In all the photos of you, I can’t help but notice that you have star – like eyes, eyes that could definitely light up a room all on their own. How clever are you! They are enormous, dark, and shiny with life. These eyes were just as brilliant in person when I had the privilege to hang out with you and your mummy the other day. Even though you only gave me a sneaky glimpse of them as our boring girly catch up lulled you to sleep.
It is very hard to comprehend, lovely little T, but as of last Thursday we can now only see these eyes in photos. Us adults are too silly to understand this and how it has happened, we of course aren’t as clever as you. Were those eyes going to cause the girls too much trouble as teenagers? I don’t know why and probably never will, but I do know that your eyes shine bright like stars, lighting up the sky that I’m looking at right now over Brighton, where your mummy first felt you kick. Your feisty, intelligent little soul is now entwined with your family’s, their hearts heavy and own eyes full of sorrow.
I wanted to have a little chat with you really, to tell you how your mummy is doing as your eyes have shone down on her over the past few days. She’s missing you so desperately (how could anyone not?), she’s rightly so angry, she’s furious as the world and whoever for deciding that these eyes that she created were too bright for here.
What would you say to your mummy if you could talk to her now? Can you help me out, as I think you may have just the right words to say? (Adults really aren’t very good at this, you see). Remember she’s a fiery cookie just like you (oh yes, I remember just how strong your little grasp was around my finger when we met, don’t think I didn’t notice) so tread carefully dear T!
I know we only met for one super special afternoon, but I sussed you out young man- I reckon you’d gaze up at your mummy with those heartbreaker eyes and you would tell her that come on woman, you haven’t left her, not really. Mummy can’t see you with her eyes anymore, but she can feel you everywhere, just until you get to be snuggled in her arms again. You’d tell her that the passing of time for you is nothing like time for us silly adults. It will feel like minutes for you, the time until your mummy is with you again, which is of course where she aches to be. It feels so much longer for us, T.
Your mummy and I, as you could probably work out from our ranting the other day, go back a pretty long way. As I do with your lovely dad and grandparents. They are awesome, your family. Well obviously, you say- they made you and those all – knowing eyes.
Even though I don’t know half as much as you do about the world and how this all works, I do know that your mummy right now feels absolutely lost, half dead, with the other half of her lying still with you right now. I know that you’d like to tell your mummy that that side of her too at some point in the future will be lifted with you, so not dead, sore, bitter and lonely. That by that point, this part of her will still be next to you (always), yet able to look on and smile at your precious time together and your major part in your mummy and daddy’s future. It takes a very long time to get to this point when you love someone so, so much though T, so do be patient with your mummy.
Often she will drift around like she has a lead weight attached to her, weighed down by the reality of what life has so completely unfairly thrown at her, but T, don’t worry, that’s when her family and friends will be there for her. That’s our job. By the way, until then you have a job too. My mum (that’s your new friend Aunty J, who got on like a house on fire with your mummy) will be getting up to plenty of mischief with you- but watch her, she cheats at Scrabble.
All my love always,