01 December 2010

Dear Ewan

Dear Ewan,

You've been gone for just over 8 weeks now. The days slip past on the calendar, one looking much the same as any other. If someone had told me it had been eight days and another that it had been eight years since you died, I could find no reason within myself to doubt either of them.

4 days old

As we draw nearer to winter, the hours of daylight wane and the night is longer. I feel tired all the time and have developed the talent of being able to weep with no apparent inducement at all -- though I don't think anyone would challenge me on the fact that your death is enough inducement for whatever tears might come up until the day I die. Grief is a heavy thing, a burden created through an absence, and an aberration. Anyone who has grieved knows down to the very marrow in their bones: it's not supposed to be this way.

It is simply miraculous to me that one day, you didn't exist and then all of the sudden, you did. That you grew from a cluster of cells and developed within me, that I was able to know your life and your movements within me. I was in love with you before I ever laid eyes on you. When I finally did see you, I knew you. It would be wrong to say that I loved you any more in that moment, but upon having the veil removed -- getting to see your face and look into your eyes, and to experience you looking into mine -- I knew without a doubt that nothing would keep me from loving you, from fighting for you, from offering every ounce of will I possessed on your behalf. I knew I would have jumped on the operating table and offered you my own heart if I could. I would not have hesitated.

I've had time now to reflect and think on your short life, to remember you and many of the things that happened. I know I could not have changed the outcome -- but I wish I could have been with you until the very last second you were awake. If I have any regrets, it is that I was not there. You seemed to be doing so well, and the change seemed to have happened so quickly. My presence might not have changed much, but at least I could have been with you, holding your hand and assuring you of my presence and love until the last possible second. Given what you suffered in barely two weeks outside the womb, you had no reason to have a very high opinion of being born, but I hope you knew how much we loved you, how much we wanted you to live and thrive, to hold you, to one day take you home and do all the things that parents dream of doing with their children.

I bet you would have had the most beautiful smile, and the most delightful giggle. I can imagine them, and feel a painful lump rise in my throat every time it hits me that I will never get to see your smile or hear your laughter. And then I cry, and sometimes I keep crying because I have no reason to stop.

You will always be my first, Ewan. You are the one who made me a mother. And even though you don't need me anymore, you will always be my son, and I will always take delight in you.

I miss you so much, my beautiful boy. You have my heart forever.

All my love,
mama

18 comments:

Papillon Sky Photography said...

Absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking words. You will always be his mother and he will always be your firstborn son. Many hugs to you!
xoxo
Amy

Lisa said...

This is so beautiful, Kirsten. Continuing to think of you and James and pray for you.

Nadine said...

:*( Each time I hold Jaden I am reminded of the pain in your heart! I find myself in tears holding on to him for dear life because I cannot bear to think of life with out him. I find myself checking on him every 5 minutes to make sure he is breathing...for fear he might be taken away. I can only imagine to know the grief you are feeling Kirsten. I know I have said it millions of times by now but I feel like I cannot say it enough...I'm so very sorry! :*(

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of you, of YOUR heart. Ewan is so lucky to have a mother like you. My son was born 3months premature this summer. the NICU was his and our home for 2 months. I know part of what you have gone through. You have walked down a lonley road that many do not experience. Your raw and open honesty is sacred. May the God continue to sustain you.
MN Mama.

Rebecca said...

Your love and pain are heartbreaking. I read this and cried because it really is not supposed to be this way. How my heart breaks for you, my friend. How I wish there was a way to rewind time and have it all turn out differently. How I wish that Ewan was still here with you, and that you knew nothing of this grief you carry.

May our gracious and loving God sustain you, now and always.

Kristi McInerney said...

You are simply a wonderful mommy, and I know in God's timing you will be blessed with many children. You have so much love and every time I read your blog I cry and hug my own two toddlers tighter. Thank you for your strength. Praying for you.

Holly said...

No. It is NOT supposed to be this way. You WILL see and hold your sweet son again one day but you should have had that pleasure all along. I am so sorry for you and your heartbreaking loss. Words are simply not enough. Nothing is enough.

Thank you for sharing this.

xox
Holly Terra

The Emery's said...

Oh dear Kirsten...my tears flow for you...I'm at work, now sweating, wet-eyed, rashy and head pounding...it is all too awful to try to imagine...but again, somehow, you write so beautifully even in the most painful of realities that you face each waking moment. I send you lots of love...many prayers and constant adoration. God bless you...and your sweet baby Ewan!!! I love you!

Carolina Carters said...

Even in the midst of your pain, your words are beautiful, as always. Praying for your heart....

Stephanie said...

The ache keeps on, but in different ways. There will always be the pain, and days like today seem to induce it as a matter of course.

When I think of how tiny and fragile an infants heart is (about the size of a walnut) and all the fight and surviving Ewan did ~ I am amazed. His life was amazing and too short. I know that our babies are in a better place, whole and healed, but that doesn't make our suffering easier ~ in my opinion.

I am thinking of you one these endless days that melt into one another and of the heavy coat of grief that we can't take off.

terri said...

Dear Ewan,

I got to know your mother several years ago through her writing and very quickly came to think of her as a sister and a friend. I listened as she wrote through many ups and downs in her life and laughed and cried with her. I came to deeply respect her over these years, and that respect deepened profoundly as she discovered that she was pregnant with you and then later when she learned that you would have many challenges. I held my breath when you came into the world and I rode the roller-coaster of your short life vicariously through the words of your mother. I wept with my husband when word reached us that you passed away. I feel somehow that I came to know you. I can't shake the sensation that you curled your fingers around mine. Can those things happen over the miles?

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you (as if you didn't know) that your mom and dad are amazing people who could not have loved you more than they do. I'm so glad to have finally met them in person. I'm honored to have walked in the room they prepared for you. I paged through the photographs of your beautiful face and touched the stuffed monkey that you loved so much. It's unbelievable to me that so much love can be compressed into so little time. It's amazing that we don't come apart from the force of such love.

But I also wanted you to know how much your little life has meant to me. My hands are shaking as I write this. I can't possibly put it into words. You remind me how frail we all are, and how important it is to touch each other and speak the words that so often go unspoken. I'll carry your memory with me for the rest of my life. Thank you little man. I'll see you soon enough.

Terri

felmleyfam said...

all i can say is that we are mourning with you. what grief....

HennHouse said...

Joining with you in grief and prayer.

Danielle said...

Such beautiful words to Ewan, Kirsten. I grieve with you as these short, gray, cold days of winter settle in around us and seem to weigh down this heavy burden of grief that we already carry.
I believe that Ewan knew that you were always there, always present and that he was undoubtedly loved beyond what most people can only imagine.
You are an amazing mother and it shines through in your beautiful words to sweet Ewan. Such a lucky and blessed little boy to have you for his mama. Prayers of comfort and peace (especially during this Christmas season) and love to you and James.

Anonymous said...

Your words and Terri's also, make me teary eyed. Just so beautiful. I can relate in the feeling that he changed me, though I never met him. I think it's those deep eyes, so wise and precious. They touched me through my computer screen and became so real, as if I'd looked right at him. I think of him all the time and he has made me appreciate the how precious life is. Sarah V.

Maryann said...

I have insomnia on the East Coast and I'm using this time to pray for you. Keep on writing, praying and breathing.

Anonymous said...

I've thought of a lot of these things. I hope you don't mind me saying that. There isn't any "I'm glad it's not me". Instead, with each moment I experience with my son and you don't with yours, I grieve for you. Those little things have become bittersweet in a way. Of course it means the world to me that I am still able to get to know my son, but my heart aches now with the knowledge that there are mothers, through no fault of their own, don't. It's not fair. It isn't supposed to be this way. Even at a seemingly normal activity, like dinner, when I help my son to his applesauce, there is a voice that cries out for you.

I know I'm not on facebook at the moment, but there isn't a day when your family is not far from my thoughts.

<3

Bria

amy and mighty max said...

Thank for sharing such personal and emotional moments and feelings.

My son spent six months in the hospital upon birth and I came close to losing him many times. Your words touch my heart deeply...

Sending you thoughts of peace...