It has been two years, six months, three weeks exactly since my son took his last breath in my arms.
The last hours of his life on earth were an infinite lapse in time where only he and I existed. A parallel plane, where in a flutter of seconds a lifetime of love was spun between us like silk. Delicate, beautiful, unfathomably strong.
Life flows on.
And with each day that ends, I am further away from the last time I held him alive.
Since his death, I have dug foundations and rebuilt life. With and without him.
I have painted walls with layer after layer of thick hope – scraped it from under my fingernails and brushed it out of my hair. I have breathed and choked on the pungent cocktail of hope and grief. But I have kept building.
For what else is there to do?
I have grown and nurtured a little girl who shoots sunshine into the darkest corners of my heart.
She lights up his shadows. A sister who will only ever know his name.
I am filled with gratitude for a chance to love another child, a hand to fill mine. Yet I am often swept off my feet by the persistent push and pull of time; ebbing forwards with her and glancing backwards to him.
Caught in a cruel reverie of what should have been, one hand always empty.
In the first hours of loss, time arches and stretches, everlasting and looming.
Weeks and months skulk by. Leaves shine green, blaze red then crumble.
Does the world not know he is dead?
The years approach slowly, like sly hunters. Then they run, and run, leaping ahead. Leaving slow feet to trail behind them, not ready to cover such distance.
Wasn’t it yesterday he was born?
It will always be the years, now. I’ll stack them up like coins – one, two, three; forever.
He walks with me, with her.
A weightless shadow that leaves no marks beside ours on the earth.
Time is nothing to us.
A merely abstract boundary, too frail to barricade love.
For I am not fearful, these years are not distance. They are closeness. The acceptance that I only dreamt I could feel.
They are ours, these years. Still ours.
And he walks with me, within me. I carry him, still.