Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How it hits

Two years ago today a buried a baby, my son, my love, my Henry.
And yet this morning I got up with my baby girl, ate breakfast, laughed, played.
I wrote Christmas cards and packed up gifts. 
It was any other day.

At 9:15 I was out the door for Christmas shopping.
A stop at the post-office, a package dropped off at a friends house.
The first strip of stores, running through my list, waiting in lines,
Gathering the things I was looking for.

It was the bank that did me in.
I went to the drive through, sent my request up through a tube
I was starting to tire of my errands and was staring blankly across two lanes of cars,
There in the window. Today is December 22.

The 22 was so big. My baby was so small.
We had four pall bearers, which was perhaps overkill.
Two grandfathers, his godfather, and my uncle (who knows too what it is to bury a son)
And his grandmothers read the eulogy that I wrote.

Today is December 22.
My chest tightened and my arms and legs got both heavy and light:
almost too much to lift and yet feeling as if they might float right off my body.
This is how it happens for me. How it comes on.

I thought about heading right home.
Lying on the bed, wrapped in his blanket. Retreating yet again
But there are nieces and nephews who deserve something to open on Thursday night
So I pressed on, but my steps were heavier, my mind distracted.

I buried my baby today. Two short and endless years ago.
I was rushing on the way home.
I had been gone longer than I expected. There was traffic when I just wanted to get back.
And I drove right by the cemetery.

The cemetery where two years ago I buried my baby.
Drove right by, distracted by the falling down house that is finally being torn down.
I didn't stop, didn't look to see if the wreath I left on the 17th was still there.
Didn't even throw out an I love you, I miss you as I passed.

But I know he is there underneath the snow
Too close to the road, still unmarked with stone. He is there whether I look or not
And yet he is not really there at all, and he doesn't care if I stop or wave or leave trinkets.
But I wish I had stopped, just for a moment and left my handprint in the snow ever him.

Two years ago I buried my baby boy.
I know this, have known this, will always know this.
And yet still it hits me suddenly, unexpectedly, this reminder of what I cannot forget,
what I carry with me always. It hits me and leaves me drained.


  1. You will never forget. Thinking of you.

  2. That last bit resonates so strongly for me Sara. We never forget but sometimes it comes to us in such a shocking way... because there is a part of us that doesn't believe we really went through such an awful loss. It just feels wrong.

    I will be thinking of you this Christmas. Holding my little Jasper and thinking of your precious Kathleen... and holding both our lost babes in my heart.

  3. I am so sorry. It is so hard to go on when one of those dates comes up. Sending you big hugs!

  4. Oh Sara, I'm so sorry. This is how it hits, how it hurts. I wish Henry was home with you, that this date didn't mean anything besides "three days until Christmas." An impossible wish, but still. Thinking of you.

    And I think you are a rock star for getting through your errands while carrying all this.

  5. Sometimes it comes back and the pain can just take your breath away.
    Thinking of you and remembering Henry. xo

  6. Oh Sara, this is a lovely, heartbreaking post. I'm so sorry that it hurts, that it will always hurt. I'm thinking of you and your family and also remembering your dear Henry.

  7. It is so hard and the moment that our grief hits is unpredictable. Thinking of you.