What It Feels Like Today- Wednesday May 19th

The little bruises left from my IVs are still visible. My C Section incision still hurts. My once proud belly, round and glorious- is deflated, lonely, soft and empty. Tom and I wander around our small apartment, exchanging memories of our lost little boy. Laughing and crying alternatively, but ultimately we feel so far away.


I wish I could have protected my baby. I wish I could have helped him. I can’t stop thinking – if I had just gone to the doctor’s office earlier? But I was so scared. The pains I felt were so real, so urgent. I was afraid to know. So I waited until I saw blood. By the time I got to the doctor’s office the pain was white and red and black. And even though I wailed in protest, I knew. My fears were real.


We buried him yesterday. I hated the little white coffin, but felt comfort that he was near my Grama. A Reverend from Northwestern University said an opening prayer- I didn’t hear it. Tom and I gave short speeches and read poems.
I read-


I carry your heart with me
-e e cummings


i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want


no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)


And Tom read:


As I Walked Out One Evening (exceprt)
-W.H Auden


I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,


I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars got squaking
Like geese about the sky


The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages
And the first love of the world


Then our family spoke. They spoke about Tommy’s strength and sweetness and courage. They spoke about our love which gave them all the strength to be joyful when Tommy was with us.


Afterwards we went to my parent’s house. I took more sedatives because I didn’t know what to do. I had only ever been an awkward guest at a funeral, I never imagined I would be the mother of the deceased. Eventually Tom and I went to bed. Our guests understood. We couldn’t stand any longer, we couldn’t respond.


The memorial service will be Tuesday May 25th at 6:30 at the Alice Millar Chapel. Then I don’t know what we’ll do. I don’t know who we’ll be. Today it feels like we’ll never be anything but zombies who need to feed on the memories of our sweet baby. I know that eventually the memories will fade. His smell won’t be as strong, the feeling of his little back won’t be as clear. Feeling better, normal, means letting the memories fade.


But I’m not angry, and I don’t feel sorry for myself. I still feel so blessed to have had the time with Tommy that we had. I feel so lucky to have felt his love and watched Tom Sr hold him and love him. I know that other parents have suffered the same fate, and I know that others have suffered worse. I know that Tommy Jr came to us for a reason, and left us for a reason. Still, my heart hurts so much.


I couldn’t protect my baby, and I can’t protect his memories.

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  1. Melissa says:

    i appreciate that you can share your grief. it helps me know a little bit better how & if i even can help. your story affects me & a tiny piece will always be carried with me too. your writing will better protect his memories heather. keep it up.

  2. Alison says:

    What beautiful words to honor Tommy Jr. I’m so sorry you have to go through this and hope the days ahead bring you much healing and peace.

  3. tina says:


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