In memory of my son, because every life leaves something beautiful behind...
Friday, July 3, 2009
Although Shane and I technically live in a city, we are on the outskirts in orchard country. Our house is a ramshackle hundred year old heritage house on just about four acres. So even though all we have to do is drive down the hill to be in the downtown area, we are just out of it enough to have blissful quiet. We are wonderfully exposed to nature here, and there are all kinds of critters running around making our yard their home. Lately, there has been a herd of about twenty deer or so spending their time between our place and our neighbour's house, grazing in the meadow between. It's not uncommon to find them congregated in the driveway eating weeds, or our juniper bushes and lately they've been coming onto the lawn eating our grass. I don't mind them at all, I didn't get my flowers in this year so I could care less if they want to hang out in the yard. This morning, as I was sipping my morning coffee on the back porch, looking out over Okanagan Lake, I happened to notice a young doe and her fawn standing underneath our maple tree. The baby was nursing and the mama deer stood patiently while her little one fed. It was beautiful. All of a sudden, another little fawn sprang through my lilac bush and it too raced over to nurse. Twins. My heart almost stopped. I felt a lump rising in my throat watching the mother deer nursing both her babies. I wondered what it was like for her, never having had the chance to nurse both my twins. In fact, I never got to nurse Calvin at all. She stood so patiently letting them tustle around to get at her milk, she was almost serene in her beauty. I sat quietly, watching the family feed, with a wistful aching in my chest. I miss nursing. Even though it's been seven months since I last nursed Georgia, the day her brother died, I'm still making milk. Occassionally when she cries, I'll notice my shirt getting damp and I'll feel that familiar tightening in my breasts like my body is calling out to my child. It used to happen frequently when I first stopped nursing, I'd be out in public and the cries or squeals of someone's child would start my boobs leaking like crazy. Oddly enough, my milk came in after I quit pumping, after I quit putting Georgia to my breast because I needed to be on antidepressants. I miss the experience. I miss the fact that I never got to hold Calvin to me skin to skin, that I never had the chance to breastfeed him. Georgia will still root for my nipple when she is super tired and cranky, for months after I quit nursing her I would let her latch for comfort and I would rock her and stroke her little body until she slept. I miss those times, watching the mother deer and her twins this morning brought back that familiar aching, that longing to hold and nurse my babies. I'll never have the chance to do that again and it makes me a little sad.
I have decided to write about my feelings following the death of my only son in November 2008. I'm learning that grief is a process with good days and bad, a lonely road with new beginnings and unavoidable endings. It is my hope that through writing I can come to peace with what has happened to us and our beautiful boy.