What I’d really like to tell you..

..when we meet in the supermarket line or the at the queue for the museum and you look down at my expanding middle and ask, “is it your first?” Or when we are sitting together at a little picnic bench at the park with our children and you comment that there will be a big age gap between my two.

I want to tell you that this will be my third child but that my precious son died suddenly leaving us heartbroken and distraught.  I want to tell you that the gap between my children was just two years and that they were the best of friends, playing lego and football together right up until the day he left.  I want to tell you all about my amazing little boy and how his big blue eyes sparkled with mischief when he cheated at monopoly.  I want you to hear about how smart he was and how much life he had in him until it was cut short just before Christmas.  And when you ask if my daughter is looking forward to being a big sister I want you to know she is already a big sister and that she is slowly coming to terms with the role of only-child again.  As for the age gap, well that isn’t something that we carefully engineered, but that life isn’t all neat and tidy like a family planner on a kitchen wall, well organised and easily maintained.

I don’t tell you any of this though. Instead I smile and tell you that this will be my third child without offering any more details.  I don’t want to ruin your day with a sad story or over share with you as you go about your business.  I know that the question is rhetorical and you don’t really want to hear all about my pain but I am tortured by my response for the rest of the day.  I kick myself for failing to take the opportunity to say his name or tell someone that he was here and that he mattered.

By judesmum

6 comments on “What I’d really like to tell you..

  1. Fiona, your description of little Jude and his mischievous smile made me smile. Ben is adjusting to 7 years between him and his big step-brother rather than 2 years and 10 months between him and his big sis. I too want to tell everyone in the world how wonderful Hannah was and how much we miss her and always will and how I don’t just have sons but have a daughter too. But I don’t either like you, and then also torture myself for the rest of the day! It’s horrible and I hate it!

  2. I used to tell people, and end up upset about their responses. Now I say nothing, if I can help it. The world is a minefield now. How best to get through it, who knows? We should pencil a date in our diaries for a decade hence, and see if we can figure out the best solution – then we can write the book xx

  3. The way I see it, THIS is where you make up for that lost opportunity. Ugh. I hate that benign moments feel so heavy. I HATE that Jude isn’t here. I am not at all surprised that he was as smart as he was gorgeous! What a perfect little boy. My heart is always with you Fiona.

  4. It’s totally the strangers who are casually living their carefree lives making small talk that I always open my mouth and tell them about Colum. It probably comes across as though I’m trying to get attention but I don’t care. Last night I was buying supplements at a whole foods market. I had a nice lady helping find some things. She looked down at my legs & then asked if I had any questions. I asked her what helps with arthritis & told her my entire body had been broken. She teared up and told me she was almost killed by a drunk driver and almost lost her daughter whom she was pregnant with. I thought it was interesting because here was some one who shared an unfortunate story that happened to her and probably thought she was topping my “broken body” explanation…she just had to tell me what had happened to her. Little did she know that my living child was actually killed and what she experienced would have been a walk in the park. I wish there was a way that people could see what we’ve suffered without us having to share. Everybody has a story, but sometimes our stories help them appreciate theirs. People say it will get easier and I honestly am counting the days.

  5. I got irritated at the smug smiles and know-it-all attitudes of people assuming it was my second and oh I had so much to learn. GR.

    The guilt over not saying anything ebbs and flows. Some days I’m fine with saying I have three and leaving it at that. Some days I’m devastated I couldn’t tell them about my girl. I’m typically pretty open about Hannah, but still…

    Isn’t it awful how carefully you tread so you don’t make others uncomfortable? :sigh:

  6. I wear a name bracelet and a ring with my son’s name. I like to see his name all the time. If anyone wants to ask me about it, I’ll tell them. Meanwhile, the people who know me can see his name so they know he’s in my thoughts.

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