Sunday, November 30, 2008

Letter to Shiloh

Today is Thanksgiving. You would be one month and two days old. I had a little Thanksgiving onesie for you to wear. It has a turkey on it and it says, “My first Thanksgiving”. But it sits here in front of me, unwashed and unworn. We were supposed to go to San Diego to see the family, to see everyone so they could ooh and aah over you, to be thankful for your presence. Well, I’ve got nothing to be thankful for. Instead of the joy and togetherness I’m meant to feel, I’m just sad, alone, angry. These feelings deepen as the days go by.

People say that it’s supposed to get less difficult over time, but it seems like it’s getting harder. Realization is setting in. It’s so permanent. I’ll never ever be able to hold you again. I’m getting crushed under the weight of this realization. I’m lost in this labyrinth of emotions. I can’t seem to do much of anything lately. My heart is not in it; it’s with you.

Daddy and I have been walking along the beach a lot since you’ve gone away. Some days we talk about you the entire time, some days we remain quiet but think about nothing but you. We listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the birds circling above, the solitude. The energy there is powerful. Are you there with us? Do you feel this energy? Do you feel our love? Fingers entwined, we separately soul search, but ask the same questions. Why did this happen to us? What did you do to deserve this? Why are we being punished? We are kind, caring people with so much love to give…

Occasionally, when I muster up the strength, I open your beautiful memory box. I smell the hat I put on you right after birth. I trace my finger over the shape of your footprints, the lifelines in your handprints, the soft lock of your brown baby hair. These, and your photos, are the remnants I have of you, the proof of your existence.

Your ultrasound photos continue to hang on our wall downstairs. I just don’t have the strength to take them down; it feels all wrong. Besides, I love looking at you. I drink in every detail of you, right down to the length of your little baby fingernails. I have you memorized and I can’t get over how perfect, how beautiful you are in every way. And because of this, amidst my immeasurable agony and utter loss, are feelings of intense pride.

I can’t bring myself to clean out your nursery either. Even though not a thing has been slept in, laid on, or put on, these are all of your things. I often stand in your room with my eyes shut tight and I try to visualize your little body in your crib, on your changing table, in your new pink cardigan. You would have loved your room. Daddy and I spent weeks painting it. It is pink and brown and has trees with leaves blowing in the wind and little birds in the trees. Perhaps one day you would have become a biologist like mommy and wondered what species the trees and the birds were. I think about these sorts of things all the time. But I’ll never know the answers to any of these things I wonder about.

I hope to see you again one day, my sweet baby. It may be a very long time from now, but I will never ever forget you Shiloh. I love you so incredibly much and as much as I don’t like to think about you not being here with me, I know that you are safe in heaven in the arms of your great grandparents. Please watch over us, and if possible, let us know that you are here with us at least in spirit.