I lied. I’m not strong and I’m not finding hope. I want MY child to have his kidneys, liver, and tissues. I want him to be him. I miss him so much already. Familiar places offer no comfort and only serve to rub salt in the wound left by his harsh absence. The silence of living without his laugh, giggle, voice is maddening…his six years of animate, organic life so unfairly brief. I want to comfort myself with thoughts of him reuniting with loved ones gone before. But I’m jealous and angry: I want him here. I want him here. I want him here.

I am rude to guests when I break down and hide. My heart and my chest feel the pain of not having his close-by. The joys, smiles and comfort from those around me offer no such thing. How can they? It’s almost a mockery of that anguish; so absolute…so all-encompassing now. I cannot imagine it will ever subside. I cannot imagine ever seeing a smile without longing for his. Or feeling joy without a spike of pain.

Experiencing silence without listening for his voice. Or life’s routines ever re-rooting in this familiar reality so skewed and twisted by his palpable absence.

My son is gone.

His heart beats no more. He draws no more breath. His eyes, cold and lifeless somewhere on a medical examiner’s table, instead of looking at mine across the dinner table. His sweet hands, no longer driving matchbox cars across the furniture, or dirty from playing or stained from drawing with markers. All of the things he never knew, never learned and never experienced overwhelm my consciousness with loss and pain beyond all possible depiction.

Just today, I must have kissed him a thousand times; his body calm and warm from medical technology. The sobs came so quickly at first along with all of that powerful hurt crushing me like some tender reed in a hurricane; sweeping me up like his limp body in that kind stranger’s arms. I would do anything; pay any price to redeem him, even as just a shadow in my boy’s body.

But his body was too broken. Too far gone. And in that moment I have to push all of the trauma of that incident to the back of my mind so that I can instead focus on what is left of him, laid before me so lifelessly and so delicately. I’m angry that my eyes can only record snippets of him in my brain, so I deliberately and painstakingly examine his remaining beauty, consciously filing it away for times like now when the pain rises up and threatens to overcome me.

I know he is gone. I could not ask him to stay. I could feel his spirit hanging on and longing to be set free from what was so irreversibly damaged.

So now, I find MYSELF irreversibly damaged. Every second outside of the hospital’s soft, caring eyes and calm soothing voice seems like yet another eternity in some deeper level of hell: familiar places without him.

Silence unbroken by a child’s voice. No baths to administer, no splashes to mop up, no requests, giggles, whines or needs to attend to. Bedtimes with no little arms to encircle me, no bedtime stories to read, no soft small cheeks or stuffed animals to kiss goodnight. It’s just this horrific silence where I am left to contemplate a world with no more logic, no more gravity, no more reason. No reassurance. No sanctuary. No….Noah