Six months ago today, our little boy died. 11 days was not enough.
Twice in the last few days, people have, meaning to be kind given me their condolences and said “sorry to mention it, you must not want to think about it.”
But I do. I think of ‘it’, of him, all the time. What I ache to do, is speak of him.
I wish it were expected of me to wear black. I wish I had an armband to wear. I wish I was supposed to mourn, not just grieve. I wish there was something about me that meant everyone who saw me would think “my god, her baby died”. I wish there were a badge to wear that meant that women would come up to me, lay their hand on my arm and say “it happened to me too”.
There are badges and necklaces for many things, for miscarriages and lost potential life. But what of the actual lives, the ones with birth and death certificates, with breath and last breath and clothes and memory boxes. Ironically I find that miscarriage is almost more acknowledged than neonatal death. When I was invited to a baby loss service, it was actually exclusively for babies lost during pregnancy, not for me or Freddie at all.
I want to have something which says “My baby died and I am proud of him, aching for him, lost without him – speak of him, damn you”.
So, knitting my rainbow square for this day, I knitted myself a mourning band too. I’m wondering actually if I might have some rainbow wristbands made.
“My baby died. Speak to me.”
If I do, I’ll send them to every maternity unit in the country.