Today has been three weeks - exactly - since you died. And today, in some ways, small parts of me are dying, too.
I feel like I can't take a deep breath. It makes me think of you. Were you struggling to try to breathe in that emergency room? Were you trying to breathe with the ventilator forcing air into your lungs? Am I somehow feeling what you were feeling? It would somehow bring me comfort if I knew that were true.
I feel like my chest is tight and constricted. It makes me think of you. Did you feel them pushing and pushing on your sweet little chest? Did you feel any pain, Gavin? I can't bear the thought of you lying there aware - like you were trapped in a lifeless body but felt everything. It's more than I can take.
I feel so tired. I could go to bed right now, at 1pm, and stay in bed until tomorrow. It makes me think of you. Were you tired? Did you want to go home before my birthday? Were you holding on for us even though you were tired of fighting? It would be like you. You were always so generous.
The tears can't stop today. I want to go back. I want to rewrite this part of your life with a very different ending. The ending where this never happened. I just miss you so, so much. Everything about you. Did you cry inside? Did you try to tell us that you didn't want to go? Do you miss us, Gavin?
I am trying my very best to be available and present to your brother. He is my biggest priority - and Daddy's, too. I know you would want that. He talks about you all the time. He is still sleeping in your bed (and even wants it zipped up so he can sleep like you did!)...
...he plays on your iPad... and he sings your favorite songs. Today, we sat in bed and read books. One book was about a little girl who climbs with her Dad to the top of a lighthouse. Her Grandfather - and his father - loved that lighthouse and he had just died. High above the ocean, she asked her Dad, "Can Grandpa hear me?" and she yelled into the sky GRANDPA!!! They waited a long time until her Dad finally said, "He's not going to answer." I wanted to throw that book out the window. I wanted to go back four pages and make up a better ending.
Instead, Brian and I flung open the two windows in the room - windows that are just low enough so you could stick your head right into the screen. Out into the back yard we took turns yelling "HI GAVIN!!" "I LOVE YOU, GAVIN!!" "I MISS YOU, GAVIN!!!" and finally, after we exhausted ourselves (and possibly concerned the neighbors), we yelled "BYE GAVIN!!!"
I closed the windows and heard, "Mama?"
"I know Gavin heard us. The birds were chirping a lot a lot a lot. Gavin told the birds to do that for us. Heaven is everywhere."
I felt relief. I want him to know that Heaven isn't some place above the clouds that is completely inaccessible. I WANT him to know... to believe... that Heaven is everywhere. That wherever he is, he can talk to you and you will hear him. And sometimes, in some way, he'll get a response. I want him to know that he doesn't need to shout from the windows into the sky (although there was something cathartic about that, I must admit) in order for you to hear him. He can talk to you in his mind - with his heart - and you will be there. You will always be by his side. Forever.
Three weeks passed by so quickly. Too quickly. It feels like an hour ago that you and I shared those special moments in bed together the morning of my birthday.
That night, as we heard "Time of death..." echo in the room, part of me died with you. I think that's normal for any Mother who has their child ripped from them - whatever their age. A part of you had always been inside of me. And a part of me had always been inside you. My life, my heart, my soul...
...nothing will ever be the same without you, Gavin.