Not a Day Goes By: Remembering the Baby We Lost Each and Every Day

August 28, 2017

Before losing Aiden I heard people say not a day goes by where they didn’t think of the person they lost. I never fully understood how true this was. Honestly, I didn’t think it was even possible. I imagined that life moves on, you get busy and their constant presence in your thoughts would wane. To say I didn’t understand is an understatement. I didn’t understand until I was living it.

Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Not a day goes by

Since losing Aiden, I now realize that it is not only possible to think of him many times, every single day, it’s just my reality. How could I not think of him each day? He’s my child, there is no greater love than that of a mother’s for her children. That love and bond will never be lessened because he died. Neither will his presence in my mind.

In the early days, my thoughts of him were constant. There was nothing else I was capable of thinking about. There was nothing else I wanted to think about. My mind was consumed with grief and the deep pain of losing him. As time went on, my thoughts of him are not as constant or crippling. But they are ever present just the same. I think of my sweet boy multiple times a day, every day.

Anything makes me think of him

Anything can trigger a thought of Aiden: something one of my other kids says or does, an important day, a smell, a random thought, an anniversary, a Facebook post… The list is endless. It could be anything big or small that brings him to the front of my mind.

The reality is that he is always on my mind, even if I’m not actively thinking of him. Just as my two living children are always on my mind, even if I’m not actively thinking about them. That’s just what happens when you are a mother. And losing your child won’t change that.

Some thoughts are painful

Sometimes my thoughts of him are painful. Like when I think of what he had to endure in his short, precious life. Or when I think of the life he never got to live. Sometimes a hard, painful memory sneaks up on me and catches me off guard.

At an event in our town last year, we walked by a father and son. The father and his wife were in the prenatal class we took when I was pregnant with Aiden. Although I don’t know them, thanks to the nature of small towns, I know they had a boy right around the same time Aiden was born. When I saw this little boy walking with his dad my heart stopped. That six year old boy was a walking, talking reminder of what we are missing. It surprised me how much it hurt.

Other thoughts don’t hurt quite so much

Sometimes the thoughts are softer, and don’t hurt quite as much. Thoughts where I feel grateful for the time we had with him. Able to focus on the love and joy as we welcomed him into our lives, not just the pain and devastation. Or thoughts where I remember a detail about him, the way his soft hair felt, or the way I could soothe him like no one else.

Other times, if I’m lucky, I will catch a hint of his smell in the air. It used to happen often where I could smell him. It’s happening less and less often now, but it is so precious when it does.

The daily thoughts are often small, less significant ones. Ones where his memory or a thought of him skips across my mind for one reason or another. Triggered by something, anything that reminds me of him. Reminds me that we will always be missing him from our lives. The fact that I will always be missing one of my children is something that is impossible to forget.

Always on my mind

People have told me they don’t know if they should bring Aiden up because they don’t want to remind me of him and make me feel sad. The truth is I am always glad to hear someone talk about Aiden. They won’t remind me of him and make me sad. I am probably already thinking of him. And hearing that someone else is thinking of him too is often exactly what a grieving heart needs.

Now I understand what it means to say not a day goes by that I don’t think of Aiden. I also know that I welcome my thoughts of Aiden and always will. They are the strongest connection I have left to him. His memory is all I have left. I never want a day to go by without thinking about him and cherishing the sweet boy I had the privilege to know for such a short time.


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    Melissa Russell

    Melissa is the mother of three children, two in her arms and one forever in her heart. Her first child, Aiden, died in 2010 at 19 days old. Several days after his birth it was discovered Aiden was missing almost all of his small intestine, and his condition was too severe to respond to treatment. Melissa and her husband have gratefully welcomed two more children into their family since losing Aiden. You can find Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life, writing about creating a simple and intentional life as she tries to figure out the world again after losing Aiden.

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