Seven Years06 March 2017
Seven years have passed since our World was shattered. Seven years is a long time; a lot of days and moments and hours. People don't ask about Jude that often anymore - we are busy and happy with the gorgeousness and mundanity of being parents to our two little girls and when people ask how many children I have I say: "Two girls."
Months and a few years after losing Jude, I made a point of saying I had three children - now it doesn't matter so much. I know that Jude is a part of me and our history and that nothing will ever change that... plus it always makes the conversation awkward. Now if people say 'Oh are you not going to try for a boy?' I may say 'I have had my boy and he was beautiful and he died'... and it makes the conversation a bit awkward but I'm OK with that.
People tell you in the days after losing a child: "Life will never be the same again" and "You never get over the loss of a child." That is so desperate and final and terrifying to hear. The truth is, the 'not-getting-over-it' is OK and you wouldn't want to fully get over it; you learn to incorporate it into your existence with a sense of sadness and beauty that becomes normal and sometimes you are hit with moments that literally take your breath away and you're knocked down for a bit and then you get back up and keep going.
Recently I had one of these moments. I was at a friend's house and a white-blonde-haired boy with sparking blue eyes and a lovely open and warm personality walked in; he was about 8 or 9. I physically felt like someone had punched me in the stomach as I was hit with the realisation that I should be a 'boy mom' of a beautiful nearly 9-year old son who had light blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes and the most warm and open personality that just threw himself at life. And I'll never ever get to know that boy today. I should have gotten to know him as a nine-year old.. but I didn't get that opportunity. Life was cruel to us, but it has also been incredibly kind to us in so many ways. Sadness and death are a part of life that we don't acknowledge enough as a culture... and there is much beauty and many gifts in sadness too.
Seven years ago I didn't know how I was going to make it through a day, let alone an hour and someone said to me "Breathe. Just breathe. All you have to do is one breath at a time." Many breaths later, I am so happy to be at this place.