This is not how it was supposed to be.
Middle of the night wakings should not provoke painful grimacing, weeping, arms still foolishly aching.
Mail regarding my nine month old should not include an invitation to remember him during a memorial luminary service. Mail for Zachary should not come from a funeral home.
Photos of Zachary should not have stagnated on January 20, when he was just two weeks old. I should not have known from experience that I'd want a few photos from his funeral. We shouldn't need alters, memorials for our infant son.
Flowers sent by my husband should not signify various death anniversaries, milestones missed, acknowledgement that he continues to hold my hand through our sorrow-filled days.
Zachary's things, so much of it unused by him, should not sit in piles in various locations in the house. Blankets that held him, that smell like him, should not have to be preserved in plastic freezer bags.
I should not be filled with anguish at the wholeness and happiness of others, at the bizarreness of the normalcy that exists for everyone around us.
Zachary..., his remains,... are not supposed to sit in an urn on our bedroom dresser..., beside his brother's remains!
I should not be spending my time at support groups. I should not have to express my love for my son through my grieving.
Babies less than half Zachary's size, born with tremendous health and developmental problems, are put on maximum life support, and somehow go on to survive and delight their families. They are called miracle babies. None of that language was ever used in description of Zachary, who didn't need - should never have needed - a miracle.
You're taking this one home.
Let's feed him and get him home.
He's so strong.
From one of the nurses who cared for Zachary only after he became ill:
I heard he was doing so well, was so strong. I just can't believe it. It's unbelievable.
Oh, how I miss that little person. My Zachary. How I ache to relive the fourteen days we had together. How I miss the whole life we should have had with him.