There are a thousand ways to express the love I have for my living children. When Samuel died, those ways were reduced to a paltry few, most of which involve tears, and feel like they will strangle my heart. But I still love him, perhaps even more than before. Love that can’t express itself goes a little crazy. It’s a love that rages and weeps because I’ve lost him. A love that looks at photographs because I can’t kiss his cheek, and a love that throws things across the room because of the unfairness of it all. The anger and grief and pain, it’s all born out of love with nowhere to go. I had no choice when I physically let go of Samuel, but my heart still clings to him. I’m not ready to move on, I can’t. His backpack is still by the back door, and his clothes still hang in the closet. I sometimes instinctively check to see if his seat belt is on, and grasp the air for his hand in a parking lot. Every day it hits me again like it’s new. He isn’t here.
I like to go to the cemetery. It’s quiet there, and I sing all of our old lullabies to him. I cry until I can’t cry anymore. I take flowers, and once I left a toy car on top of his headstone for everyone to see that here, in this field of soldiers and heroes, is buried a child. It’s a desperate substitute since I can’t take care of him and love him in person.
I found something he would like in Iceland and brought it back. Not because it matters to him, of course. I know it doesn’t. He isn’t here. But I’m his mother and I have to do something. I took the gift to his grave and buried it under the grass in front of his headstone. I’m sure the cemetery wouldn’t approve if they knew, but the rules don’t say anything specifically about digging up the grass. And if I left it in sight, they would remove it. (It’s a national cemetery, and if you leave anything other than fresh flowers, they take it away. They have so many rules. I’ve broken almost all of them, except for picnicking, I haven’t done that. Although if I wanted to throw a 4th of July party there, I would. I get annoyed when I’m told what I can and cannot do at my child’s grave. They are going to get tired of me and I don’t care.)
I wish I could read him a book. Teach him to tie his shoes. Show him the inchworm we found this afternoon. Kiss him goodnight, tuck him into bed. I just want to hear his voice again. So much love with no where to go.