Today marks eight months since I last chatted with my wee boy. It’s also the day that he was supposed to turn six.
It’s a strange feeling. I was worried about how I’d feel today and I did consider taking the day off, although I had no idea what I’d do with myself. It’s been a day with lots of text messages, cards and kind thoughts from people who knew it should have been his birthday. It’s also the day that someone put a lovely bunch of sunflowers on his bench and a kind stranger who lives near the park trimmed his remembrance rose (although she had no idea it was his birthday today).
But apart from a little bit more attention from our kind friends and family it has just been the same as all the other days without Jude, difficult in parts and not so difficult in other parts. It’s not what I expected. I thought I’d be a wreck all day, imagining what I should’ve been doing and crying at the drop of a hat. But it hasn’t been like that at all.
Sunday wasn’t a great day this week, for no particular reason, it was just a bit hard and I guess that’s what I should expect from now on. It’s never the big things. It’s not the fact that he’ll miss a birthday cake and presents or that he’ll not get married and have kids. It’s the every day absence of him that I find difficult. It’s the fact that I can’t rub my hands through his hair every morning as he sits on my knee, that I can’t hear him argue with his sister or complain about eating broccoli. These are the difficult things and they will always be difficult.
He is gone and he will always be gone. I don’t just think about him on his birthday as lots of other people will come to do in time. He is the centre of my life, all my decisions are coloured by what has happened to him and to us. His birthday was no more difficult than countless other days that have passed since he’s been gone but it’s felt nice to have him acknowledged by so many people today.