the robot

Sometimes I go for days and maybe even a week without thinking of Liam. Not consciously, anyway.

Then digging for pictures for our family calendar I reach the end of April and think it was all about to end in days, and then May, Liam spread-eagled helplessly, purple and shiny, swollen, Ben so tiny I should have put something next to him for context like the grip of a rod next to a fish at the bottom of a boat.

Is it possible to be in delayed denial? I feel as though Liam's magic has left me, and him along with it. I don't know where he's gone. I read the stories of other grieving mamas, those who have dreams and visions and otherworldly visits and strange coincidences. All I have is silence, so I envy them. My sleep is a void. Am I blocking him out, or callous, or forgetting? None feel acceptable.

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Except the other night. I felt rich and blessed and near-normal and ping! the voice interrupted I wonder if Liam would have been as smiley as Ben... and I sank with longing, imagining them side-by-side, Ben's identical nature a glimpse of what we have lost.

I spend a lot of time with my face against his, cheek to mouth, mouth to ear, cooing, knocking up against his flesh with mine because I hope it soothes him, reminds him of shared space and company that calms. Or maybe I'd like a little of that for myself, and I take it from him.