I can remember how he smelt. The warmth his body emitted. I can remember tracing his face with my pointer finger. Snuggling up to him and gently pressing my lips to his.
I can remember the peace holding him gave me; the quiet and calm that drowned out the endless questions and confusion that had been my only companion in the hours between learning of his fate and his delivery.
The precious few memories I have of physically having my son in my arms are forever highlighted in my mind. Like a bright spot in the middle of a fog.
He is the only positive I had in the entire experience. His memory is what I hold so tightly to when the waves of grief crash around me. The waves that are crashing now.
This year has been hard. On all of us.
On every person.
As a loss mom, facing Mother’s Day, facing the fear of this pandemic, all while isolated has been a real challenge for me. Recently, my grief and anxiety have become close friends.
Late nights, I wake up and unravel the tangled mess of thoughts that keep me from sleep.
Each thought, tinged with a feeling of sadness.
Even in the happy moments when I find some reprieve when I am not overthinking or feeling the emptiness of loss struggling to take over, I am quick to remember the boy who is missing.
The brother who isn’t there.
Having never been in a position to combat grief amid a crisis, I know that we are all just doing our best. We are all maneuvering the hurdles and pitfalls that come with grief in the time of COVID19.
There are days when I break down in tears, wishing I didn’t know what it feels like not to be able to tuck all my boys in bed at night.
Some days I wonder if I wouldn’t worry so much about the health and safety of my living boys if my boy, who should be turning four, would have been here to do just that.
There are moments when I am sure that I am alone, my fears and my sadness are singular to only me, and not a soul could ever join in the knowing.
Then, I remember the bright spot in my grief. I hold on to the moments I held onto my son. I force myself to focus on the fact that even in the depths of despair lived beautiful, perfect moments.
Even while I was being tormented with a reality I would die to change; there was comfort.
If there can be good in the death of my son, then there can be calm in the midst of my grief and anxiety during this pandemic.
If there can be beauty in the face of grim reality, then there can be community and sharing in the fear even while we are forced to isolate.
If there can be quiet in my troubled mind in the center of tragedy, then there can also be quiet in the middle of the night when solemn fear dawns its bulky, bigger than life, disguises.
During these uncertain times, it is easy to forget that once, you endured the worst possible pain, you lived through a waking nightmare; and you survived.
You can survive this too. Just remember to hold tight to your bright spot in the darkness.
When the pain feels relentless, when your mind seems to be betraying you and your desire to thrive, grab onto the moments that brought you peace in the storm.
Remember that when the waves are coming down on you and the fog is too thick to see your hand in front of your face that you are not alone, not ever, not even in the isolation of quarantine.
I can still remember the sweet smell on the top of his head, his ten tiny fingers and his ten tiny toes.
Morgan McLaverty, a world traveler that has taken roots in southern New Jersey where her husband Sean was born and raised. Now, a stay at home mother, she cares for her three living boys; Gavin Cole(5), Rowan Grey(3) and Holden Nash (1). She also is a mother to Lennon Rhys. Lennon was born still at thirty one weeks and five days. His loss spurred on a need in Morgan to write her feelings, share her grief and help others in the process. She hopes her words will help shed the silence and taboo nature of discussing pregnancy and child loss.