The memory of that day is still very present for me. The day that I held it together while I was falling apart. The day that has so much meaning, but I wish it did not exist. The day that was so full but left me going home empty handed.
That day that started it all, this process, this work, this world. The world with and without him in it, all at the same time. When loving him intensely means walking this thorny path of grief. Living in this place where there is only feelings, feelings that don’t need defining but just are, just exist as they are, all mixed together all at the same time.
I remember looking around as I opened the door of my room. I had a little backpack, it held an extra set of clothes I had packed the night before – just in case. All my papers were in it too, I didn’t know what they said and I still don’t, written in a language I do not understand. I set to go, out to the corridor where the noise of screaming babies filled my head. How can a place so perfect, so alive feel so wrong and full of death. The corridor seemed extremely long and when it turned the even longer stretch came into sight. I passed the nurses booth, their body language was different then the day before when they were still hopeful, telling me they had been waiting on my arrival. Now, all of them looking to the floor or occupied with their heads turned towards a computer. Leaving felt like a walk of shame. A walk of shame where my arms hurt from all the emptiness they carried, my head full of images of my perfect, silent boy, my mind spinning with the enactment of the labor and birth of my sweet son. I felt like I took a breath when I opened the room door and I only exhaled when I got shocked by the rain as I finally made it out of the building. I sat in the car and cried for what felt like hours. At some point I started it and drove home.
It is how I entered grief or how grief entered me. It has been a while since that day and some of the images have changed, some have started to vanish and I am sure I add on depending on how I feel in a certain moment. But the day I left him behind will remain one of the hardest days in my life. But it will also go as the day he was born, the only day I held him and the only time we were together and separate at the same time. In retrospect, the heaviest day in my life is like grief, full of mixed up emotions that just are as they are.