The day after we lost Joshua my mom gave me a ring to wear with his birthstone. I wore it every day for four and half years. Last month I noticed that one of the amethyst stones was missing. A prong had got bent and broke allowing the pale purple stone to fall out. I took the ring off and placed it in a jewelry dish on my dresser.
Now my finger feels empty.
I find myself constantly rubbing the ring finger on my right hand. Searching for the familiar ring.
Related: A Missing Piece
But it’s gone.
I feel its absence daily. Today I realized how profound and meaningful that loss really is. That ring was a material reminder of my son. Not that I need a ring to remember him, but it represented him physically in some small way.
I have worn that ring every day.
Through a nerve-wracking rainbow pregnancy, through every holiday and birthday, we have celebrated without him. That ring has always been there. Something tangible that I could touch and know he was with me.
Feeling the absence of the familiar weight of that purple and gold ring is just another reminder that he is not here to touch and hold. The holidays have come and gone. We celebrated. We enjoyed our moments and memories that we made with his little sister.
And yet there was something missing.
We will welcome the new year. The year he should turn five. The year he should go to kindergarten. The year that we will fill with moments and memories without him.
Always missing him.
Today I carry him in my heart, but also on a chain around my neck. A necklace that has the names of our family careful cut out of silver.
There he is right alongside his little sister. There with his dad and me. The way our family should be.
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The ache of the missing seems to change with time.
Just like I will eventually get used to my bare finger. At some point, I will no longer search for the ring in the middle of the night. The longing for Joshua changes too. I no longer wake up unable to breathe from the reality that he is not here. I have grown accustomed to the weight of grief. To the missing.
Photos by: Victoria Denney
Victoria is a wife and mom of two amazing children – Joshua in Heaven and Madeline, their rainbow that they get the joy of watching grow-up here on earth. Victoria blogs about raising a rainbow, anxiety, and life at www.lifewithmadeline.com.