The jealousy that I don’t get to say my son’s name like the mothers of living children has ebbed… just in time for the holidays. I saw a post discussing how we’re keeping our lost children near and got to think about all the lovely ways Atticus is near my heart and my head.
First, I need to tell you that I was at a holiday party this past weekend and the conversation broke so a woman could tell me that Atticus was hanging out over my right shoulder. While I don’t tend to think in that particular sphere, it is also hard for me to believe that life ends with death. It was comforting to hear that someone saw my son’s warmth, staying close to his mama during this hard holiday season.
I tend toward the tangible objects: things he touched, things he wore, the imprints of his hands and feet. We’ve received lovely ornaments with his photos. We’ve been decorating with white birds after my husband suggested we house Atticus’ ashes in a porcelain bird.
Then of course, I had his portrait tattooed on my forearm. I have dreams of having living children and being able to see all my babies together. I imagine cuddling with my family on Saturday mornings and always having Atticus with us. Not many people ask me about it, but I had the sweetest conversation with a little girl who asked why I drew a baby on my arm. So we talked about things we like to draw and decided we drew things that mean a lot to us. I told her that he meant a lot to me, so I drew him. Her mother was very uncomfortable with the conversation in the middle of Williams Sonoma and I loved it. It was real. She was interested and unabashed with her questions (and of course, I chose my words very carefully – I’d hate to be disrespectful to her age or her parents). So different than talking to many adults.
Tomorrow, he’d be 11 months old. It’s gotten a lot… better? easier? None of those words seem right. Different. Not quite so raw. The missing has not lessened. The acceptance has grown. The disdain for people with “plans” has grown. Even more so when it actually happens. We had had a plan…