Today is a special angel’s birthday. A beautiful soul who left this earth too soon. One who leaves me with a gaping black hole in my life and a feeling of hopelessness and emptiness that only another parent who has lost a child can feel. No matter what anyone may say, the loss of your child is nothing anyone can feel, relate to, or even understand unless they’ve experienced it as well.
The death of a child is like losing your breath and never catching it again; it is a forever panic attack as your soul is screaming for them; your heart is dying as you continue to grieve for them.
I’ve been away from photography and much of anything in life for a very long time, struggling with and trying to mend a tragic family situation for more than 6 years now. The last year especially has been an alternate reality for me. Last year heaven decided to open its gates for my son after his long battle to survive a horrible and senseless injury.
I’ve struggled for many months with words and feelings in my head, painfully wondering how I can express myself. I suppose I feel the need to write about this now as a way to help cope and stay sane with my new reality. Silently writing, whether or not anyone reads it. It’s taken me a while to put these jumbled words and thoughts together and make them public, but I needed to do so on this special day.
Some people close to me may have wondered what happened, why have I “disappeared”. Most haven’t even noticed. When a sudden death of a child occurs, people tend to act strange, to not know how to handle or approach the situation. And I’m ok with that. I’ve fallen into my own silent bubble, away from most everything. Reflecting, thinking, remembering. Every detail, every moment, every minute, every wrong or right, the good and the bad, and the terrible ugly that spawned at the beginning and all throughout this nightmare.
The harsh reality is that people you know turn out to be not who you think they are, and most often this goes unnoticed until there is a tragic situation. The people you need most in your life and who you expect to be by your side during such tragedy are sometimes the people who have hurt you the most without you having a clue. The people you need the most are the ones who will stay away. Secrets will be revealed, words will fly, anger will be rampant. Some actions may be forever unforgivable. Ill-willed people stopped at nothing to break the parental bond during the peak of weakness and clouded judgment – and in the end, succeeded… which kept me unknowing of what was truly needed in order to help save my boy’s life. Proper goodbyes and last minutes of life were taken from me. All of this makes the weight of grief and sadness feel like the weight of the earth upon my chest.
Trying to keep the “unreal” reality aside, today is still that very special day when my angel came into this world. We loved, we clashed, we hugged, we cried, we overcame most anything. Until now. My baby boy was born on this day, looked into my eyes and gave me a little sneeze. He lived a very short yet intense life here on planet earth. From day one he had a magnetism that drew people from all walks of life into him. He was the definition of opposites attract within himself. His extreme personality made you love him and dislike him at the same time. No matter what wrong he did it was still right. He wooed you. He always had a way to get what he wanted. He had a thing, that “swagger”. He was strong, attractive, in control of everything yet spinning out of control at the same time. He was a tornado of many talents, but his musical gift was the driving force of his life.
This whirlwind of an innocent and beautiful human was struck down one day by a senseless act of violence that placed his soul in a permanently transformed body. No matter how hard he outwardly tried, he could not survive in that body and was already dying on the inside. I did everything humanly possible to “fix” him. In the end, none of that mattered. It was finally his time to be free of suffering. He was taken to the heavens quickly and quietly. I would give anything to go back to that day, to know what was really happening, to be there and know that he was not alone. This will haunt me forever. But I feel he knows that had things been different, I would have been there in a second. Like I always was before. I believe he knows that, as I’ve felt his energy around me numerous times.
One thing my son and I always believed, is that birthdays are THE most important day of a person’s life. Birthdays are a real, tangible day, not a Hallmark holiday. Birthdays are when you take your real first breath of oxygen on planet Earth. Birthdays are when you feel the warmth of your mother’s skin for the first time. Birthdays are when your parents can look at your sweet smushy face and remember it as it changes and grows over the coming years. Even during our periods of disdain, we always managed to put our differences aside to wish a happy birthday to each other. This was an important part of our bond.
I may or may not ever pick up a camera again. I do not know what my future holds. Right now it’s hard to find joy in anything, although I try and keep distracted. Life is just an automated assembly line at the moment.
My dearest son, you may not be here physically anymore, but I am always with you in spirit as I hope you are with me. You’re locked in my heart and soul until our energies meet again. Today is your very special day, always and forever and ever.
Happy birthday, my child. I gave birth to you, I loved you first, I love you still, I always have and always will.