I struggled out of the car, into the cool November sunshine of a life I didn't want.
Walking the path to our empty apartment, walking to the beat of a dirge, my feet stumbling along with the weight of the reality awaiting us inside. An empty bookshelf greeted us upon entry. Just three days prior, this tiny bookshelf had been overflowing with books and videos fit for a baby boy, our baby boy. It stood empty now.
My heart beat faster and I ran to our bedroom, tears spilling from my eyes. Where was my baby? Where was Owen? I stood at the door to our bedroom...shock rolling off me like waves...his crib..his crib was gone. I fell onto the bed and sobbed. My heart breaking all over again.
Our well intentioned friends and family had come the day before to take away my son's things, maybe to relieve the pain that would accompany seeing his belongings; there was no need for them now.
Owen's tiny clothes, taken from his beautiful dresser, were packed away the day he was born, my husband told me. He had given permission for them to come and take our son's things, all the things he had needed just days before, and store them at my parent's house, unused and discarded.
We spent the next few days at home. In a stupor, I thanked friends for the food they brought over, I answered questions my husband had about our son's funeral, and I cried. I cried until my eyes were swollen and I couldn't open them at all. I didn't want to open them.
Unbelievably, my milk came in two days after Owen was born. I was ashamed. The horror of it all...I couldn't believe my body. My body, who had failed my son, was acting as if nothing had happened. Didn't it know? Couldn't it tell? There was no baby to nourish.
My body...my body stripped of life and aching with grief...was a failure.
The hours passed by as torrents of pain and sorrow swept over me continually, relentlessly until the shock was worn away...
And I was angry.