On the 30th March, it was 10 years since Gideon was born. I have trouble believing it has been 10 years. That Gideon, had he lived, would have been 10 years old.
What would he have looked like? Would he have been more like my second son, or my daughter?
How different would my life have been, had the story unfolded differently? Would I have had my second son just 2 years later?
When I think of what grief looks like, 10 years down the line, I find it hard to put into words. I’m not drowning. I can say that, with honesty, I’m not drowning, there exists, in the time between his death and now, a quell in the storm. A quell that occasionally rises up, with waves, smaller than before, but still as strong, and sometimes they pull me under, however briefly.
But I always rise again. And the quell carries me onwards, and I breathe. And I live. And I love. And the moments of being pulled under get further apart, and I forget how strong the grief can be, until one day it hits me again, and I feel pulled down, momentarily lost in the swirling hopelessness of loss.
But I always rise again. I carry with me a heaviness, a brokenness, that I feel cannot be mended or fixed. And I don’t wish it to be mended or fixed. It is my story, his story. Our story, as a family. The Japanese repair their broken pottery with gold. They call it Kintsugi. making their breaks and flaws beautiful, they embrace them as part of the story, the individuality of the moments that make up our beautiful self. I fill my brokenness with love. It fills the cracks and breaks, and it holds me together. And I love all the moments that made that possible.
I loved all the seconds I spent with Gideon. Even the hard ones, the scary ones. The soul-destroying ones. I love them all, they are me. And they are him. And they are us.
Wherever you might be in your grief, whether it has been 10 minutes, or 10 years, know you will one day ride those waves of grief, without drowning, you will survive, and you will not forget. Love is eternal, it is not broken by time, or by joy, do not be afraid to let the joy in, embrace the happiness, choose to smile. Love and grief are one, you cannot grieve without love. So embrace the happiness and embrace the sadness and grief. You will rise again.
We love your, my Gideon.