Like last year, I want to shine a little bit of light on all different sorts of love this February with a Love Letters miniseries. Every Friday I’m featuring posts about love from some fabulous guest bloggers—and they’re not the typical boy meets girl, cue fireworks kind of love story. These stories show that love comes in all different shapes and sizes—and all of them should be celebrated. Today’s post is from Robyna of Chasing His Sunshine and The Mummy and the Minx.
My boys are making valentines. There are red and pink confetti hearts strewn over the floor, having fallen from the kitchen table. Tiny bits of paper curled at the edges and trampled underfoot. Never to make their way to a card.
I gather a few up in my hand and for a short moment, before my boys call my attention back to them, I admire their fragile beauty. These little lost hearts remind me of the son who isn’t here. The one who will never proudly show me a card he has made. The one who will never send his own Valentine, or fall in love, or crash hard out of it. The son who died when he was just two weeks old.
The hearts scattered on the floor remind me of the countless babies who have shared his fate. The babies who said hello and goodbye within a few short hours. The babies born too early and the little lives that desperate acts were too late to save. The babies born without breath. The babies lost to SIDS, to sickness, to accident and to the unimaginable. Countless tiny lives and countless broken hearts. Empty arms and unrequited love.
As a mother, my heart beats for my children. All three of my boys. The one that hugs me fiercely and says “I love you mummy.” The one that pulls my face close to his, chubby hands on my cheeks, and rubs his nose gleefully against mine. The one I have to be very still to hear—the one that sends butterflies in lieu of kisses and whom I feel in the sunshine’s rays. All of them a part of my life.
My middle son died two and a half years ago—the grief has eased. It’s still very much a part of my life but it’s not the vast, terrifying black hole it once was. I no longer fear being dragged into its pull. But the love has not lessened. The love, the devotion and the fierce will to protect his memory continue as our relationship continues.
There was a time when parents were told to forget. When the acts of love done for babies who barely lived were seen as unhealthy. I have heard some of those parents’ stories. The hidden boxes filled with memories, poured over in secret. The relief felt when they finally were given permission to talk about their child. The endearing love, the memories that etch into a parent’s heart, even when time has made recollections fuzzy. I was encouraged to nurture my relationship with my middle son. I am so thankful for that. For the friends and family who speak his name easily. For those who understand why writing a love letter to the child who will never read it is important. The bond between child and parent is a sacred and resilient thing. There will always be a heart string attached my middle son. I will always feel that tug.
Love is stronger than death. Love is what can pull you out of the darkness of grief. Love is what allows relationships to continue beyond earthly life.
And so while my earth boys are gluing paper hearts to card, intent on their masterpieces, I think of my heavenly son and blow him kisses. Always tied by love.
Robyna May writes about grief and parenting after loss at Chasing His Sunshine. She also writes as one half of The Mummy and the Minx—a blog about rediscovering your inner minx after having babies. Writing and creating beautiful things are her passions. She lives in Brisbane with her sons, her husband and a crazy dog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.