October is coming. Just like it does every year. And I feel myself withdrawing. Slipping into...into I don't know what, a depression? A more intense state of grief? A "it just really sucks to have a dead child" mentality? Whatever it is, I feel it. I feel it deeply.
October is such a beautiful time of year too. The weather cools down. The leaves start to change. There are so many fun fall activities. But it's also the time of year I celebrate the birthday of my son without him here. Five. He would be five this year. One month from today is his 5th birthday. It will be the fifth time we make a carrot cake for a little boy that was only here for 12 days.
October is also pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. A time that leaves me questioning "am I doing enough for him? Am I doing enough to raise awareness and honor the life of my child?" It doesn't feel like it. I often feel like I can hardly keep it together for my two living children. How do I find the energy needed for Marcellus?
But those two living children, they know their brother. Weston can't acknowledge him yet. But Ethan does. And he acknowledges Marcellus's death too. Today out of nowhere Ethan told me he needed mookies (his word for nursing, and yes he still nurses). He doesn't nurse often during the day, so I asked him why he needed mookies. He responded, "Because Marcellus died." Oh my heart dropped. I asked him if he was sad that Marcellus died and he put out his little bottom lip, got the saddest looking face and asked, "Why did he have to die?" I explained as simply as I could what happened. That his intestines got a really bad infection and stopped working. That the rest of his body then stopped working, that his body broke. Ethan then said, "his bones cracked?" I explained that actually Marcellus's bones were okay that it was his intenstines and his heart that stopped working. And a body can't work without those. I explained how usually breaking a bone doesn't mean someone dies.
We then started to talk about Marcellus's birthday coming up and how we will have carrot cake. Ethan wants to decorate the cake with bones. He said, "because Marcellus has his bones." Oh the innocent thought process of children.
I share this story with you because these are some of the things you may not realize go on in a household where a baby has died. That to bring awareness to infant loss I can share with you how my 3 year old copes with having a brother that died a year before he was even born. How these things come up in our home organically. I wasn't talking about Marcellus at the time. But something made Ethan think of him. I have to emotionally and mentally be prepared to answer these questions at any moment. And I will. I will always answer their question. Not just my children's, but anyone's questions.
So ask. Ask me about Marcellus. Ask away. Ask me what he was like. Ask me about his soft hair I can still feel on my fingers. Ask what it was like when he melted in to me during skin to skin. Ask to see more pictures. Ask to see video. Ask why we have carrot cake at his birthday. Ask whatever you can think of. Say his name. His beautiful name, especially during October. The time of year where I want to hide and never come out while simultaneously wanting to get out and tell you all about my sweet firstborn son.
Marcellus, your birthday is just around the corner. One month away. Will we do enough to honor you life? Or really the question should be will I think it's enough. The truth is, no matter what we do, it will not be enough. It will not be enough because you are not here. You are not hear to eat that carrot cake with us. Would you even like carrot cake? I feel the dread of your birthday coming and going, the anniversary of your death coming and going. Another year has almost gone by without you here. Did I do enough for you in this last year? Did I live my life enough to make up for the fact that you aren't here to live yours? I feel like the answer is no. And maybe that's why the dread is sinking in. I feel like you deserve more. So much more. I love you my sweet boy. I love you just as I love your brothers. I love you all so much. When I hold them tight I hope they know some of that love I pour into them is also for you. I love you right up to the moon and back. xoxox.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
My blog, my place on the internet for Marcellus. This quiet online place of reflecting and honor and missing and remembering my first born son. It has been greatly neglected over the last few years, but especially lately.
And I try to be okay with that. I have two children here on earth that need me. Two children that will only be little for so long. Their infancies fleeting and childhoods passing by at lightning speed. Marcellus, on the other hand, will always be 12 days old. But he is still my son and he still deserves some of my time and energy.
So in this rare moment where Ethan is playing independently and Weston is just crawling around exploring the house I sneaked away to write this. I started to fold the laundry, but knew I needed to take these few moments for Marcellus and I to connect instead. Yes, I had to pause to keep the baby from chewing on a band aid (still in the wrapper…where did that even come from?) and I’m keeping an ear out if Ethan’s joyful playing turns to needing momma.
But for this moments, I am here, on my blog. In my space with Marcellus. I am here to say I miss him. I ache for him. That I am always thinking of him. I may go months between posting on my blog, but the truth is I am always always thinking of him. I often "write" blog posts in my head and never get a chance to type them up.
...The fact that I just had to step away to clean orange marker off the couch definitely shows how difficult it is to find balance in this season of my life. This season of having a 3 year old, a 10 month old, and a child not here on earth with me.
The crazy thing is E never writes on anything. He barely colors even on paper. Of course I initially felt very frustrated about it, but as I was wiping it off (thank goodness for microsuede or whatever it is that's so easy to clean) it dawned on me that he used orange. Orange at a moment that I was engrossed in thoughts of his big brother. His brother that dons an orange pumpkin hat in many of his pictures making orange the color that makes me think of Marcellus the most.
Maybe it was Marcellus's way to say, "Hey, Mom. I know these two keep you busy. And that's okay. I'm always here."
Dear Marcellus, this time of year I particularly struggle with the balance of wanting to do tangible things for you while raising your living brothers. You're always on my mind, always in my heart, always internally there with me. But I want to externally do things for you too. Talk about you, write here, think of ways to raise money for March for Babies, figure out what things to do for your upcoming birthday, think of ways to include you in the upcoming holiday traditions. I feel like I often fail to find that balance. I feel like I fail with finding balance for a lot of things. But I do know you're always with me. Your love is with me and my love for you is always always with you. Missing and loving you my sweet baby boy. Forever and ever. xoxox.