There is an interesting phenomenon around parenthood. Before your child is born, you cannot imagine how your life will be changed. You try. You plan. You prepare. You buy toys and set up a crib. You pick a name and clothes. Yet you have no idea what your life will be like and how a whole new person will fit in it.
Then your child is born. It is amazing. Your whole world shifts and you cannot imagine your life without this person. That other you, the you before them, becomes a distant memory of another lifetime. And this happens quickly within days, hours, minutes even.
The same thing happens with successive children. You wonder how this new person will fit into your life and how it will affect your relationships with existing children. Yet when the new baby comes, it is perfect and natural. Life without that person is impossible to imagine.
In fact, I often remark to my husband, can you even imagine what our life would be without our kids? And we try but everything we imagine is flat and empty without our boys. I could not imagine my life without my children.
Yet here I am. Living my life without Emerson. I still find it impossible to imagine the rest of my life without Emerson. How is this possible? How is a person that I love more than myself gone forever? How do I make it to tomorrow?
Emerson. My first-born.
The pain is so hard to describe. I think my Aunt said it best when she told me that it is like a piece of yourself dies when you lose a child. I think that’s as close as I can get to describing it. It a very bizarre feeling to try to explain. My arms have felt empty since Emerson died; even with two other boys that I’ve held and loved.
I’ve been trying to figure out what it means for me now that Emerson is gone. I have been trying to figure out who I am without him. Emerson is a big part of myself. He shaped me as a mother.
I find that I still have more questions than answers. I’m not sure at this point that I will ever have the answers and I’m not sure that the answers will ever be good enough. I’m going to keep taking it moment by moment, and I am always going to feel like a piece of myself is missing.