Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer, back to the three of us

It has hit me really hard these past few days.  This season, in stark contrast to the winter season in which Zachary lived his entire life and then died, seems to have slammed the door on my baby boy's existence.  Birds cheerfully announce the arrival of each new morning.  The days are long and warm, allowing for more activity, fueling the expectation that we'll do something "fun", or at a minimum, something productive.  Storms roll through, and despite their violence, coax each living thing to grow, flower and produce.  The patio door is opened and shut a hundred times each day, as C.T.'s friends, and his growing independence, beckon him to play and explore outdoors.  Playgrounds, beaches, zoos, pools and parks are filled with happy mommies and children.  Parties and barbeques abound - everyone eager to soak up every bit of summer break.   

Zachary is dead.  No matter.  Get up, get going and enjoy your summer.  

The truth is, I just can't do it.  I get dressed, I feed my family, I spend quality time with C.T. and our household runs smoothly, to some extent.   But, I can't pretend that summer has lightened the crushing weight of Zachary's death or lifted my spirits out of the depths of grief.  He is still dead, and I am still his loving and deeply bereaved mother.  It has only been five months and I miss him terribly. 


A couple of nights ago, as I was laying with C.T., doing the bedtime routine, he says...

Mama, you see this space between us?  I'm pretending that Zachy is laying here with us.  I would keep him from falling off the bed on this side and you would keep him from falling off on that side.  He would really like to be between us, don't you think? 

I sigh and assure C.T. that Zachary would have loved to be involved in the bedtime routine. That it would have been wonderful for all of us.


The three of us are right back to where we were at the beginning of last summer, except that there is no hope for Zachary.  There is no more Zachary.  There is only the loving and the missing and the mourning what should have been.  It's just the three of us again, this summer, and although I'm thankful to have B and C.T., it still feels completely wrong that Zachary is not here too.  


  1. C.T.'s words are so sweet. It breaks my heart to think of the grief he has to deal with. I'm keeping him and you in my thoughts.

    The return of summer has brought me similar feelings... the requirement to enjoy each beautiful day, the sight of all the happy parents parading with their babies, children playing everywhere. I find it so difficult, especially as each recurring event (neighborhood event, holiday) brings me back to where i was last year : full of hope and excitement about the future.

  2. That first summer without Eva the sun and birds felt like an insult. How could the sun possibly shine when my daughter was dead. Five months is terrible hard.

    And...I meant to comment on your previous post. I said his name, out loud. Zachary.

  3. I just found you from Expecting the Unexpected blog. I just want to say - I understand. My firstborn son was born on January 5 and died on January 31 this year after 26 days in the NICU. All my friends who had babies this winter and spring are emerging from their hibernation, visiting the zoo and the park and we, strollerless and aware of that, every minute of every day, are doing the same. And it is sad in a new way, now. We were excited to be taking our baby to the our family's lake house this summer. We called him our lake baby, and he was going to meet the other lake baby that was born this winter. Now we are taking his ashes to scatter there. Each new season has it's own heartache.

  4. Oh, I so, so get this. Anja and Zachary must have been on almost exact same timelines. I found out I was pregnant with her in the summer, she died in January at 29 weeks, and that spring-turning-into-summer was torture. I experienced the exact same sensation you describe: of summer slamming the door on her unexpected-winter existence. She felt so very, very gone and it was such a desperate feeling just at the same time as everyone around me was rejoicing in the sunshine, the warmth, the incredible beauty of our park neighbourhood and its gardens. The terrible comparison of this summer/last summer: last summer I was expecting such a different life and this summer it is just exactly the same as it was before except not the same, either, because so terribly broken. Yes, I get this and I wish I could give you a hug. Just sit with you.

    CT's words are so loving and sweet. I have come to love the things E says about her sister. In the beginning they just made me ache awfully. I still ache, but there is a kind of warmth there, too. She remembers her sister with so much love.

    Sending love to you all.