Firstly a year on:
On April 14th last year I didn’t post to Facebook, I didn’t send any text messages and there is no entry in Oscar’s diary. I’ve used the above three places to get my information on what happened each day, but without them I am pretty lost.
A year later I can’t remember specific days in the middle of Oscar’s life. In the early days after we lost him, I was terrified that I would begin to forget the details. I hated that I wouldn’t remember what happened on specific days, or that I may forget the tiny things that happened, such as the time he was doing baby weightlifting with a syringe. I went over and over things in my head to commit everything to memory. I looked at videos and photos over and over, I looked through his memory box often. I slept with his blanket, desperate to feel close to him. I was terrified of forgetting him. I was terrified of what would happen when the memories faded.
Now, a year on, the memories have of course faded. I can’t remember what happened on specific days, and I am okay with that. I know every item that it in his memory box, I know where his blanket is, and I don’t feel the need to sleep with it. I know that I don’t need to look at his things constantly to not forget him. It’s amazing how strong memories can be…I can remember the feel of his skin, the weight of him in my arms and his beautiful eyes without any effort at all. he is completely engrained in my memory and the fact that I can’t recal every detail all the time doesn’t seem as important. I can remember enough. I now know that I cannot forget him.
And, sometimes there is a sound or a smell that will trigger a thought or memory that I had forgotten. When this first happened I felt so guilty because it was something I had forgotten. Now, I like it when these moments occur. They remind me that the memories are all still there, even if I can’t recall them all at once.
My photos from April 14th tell me that Oscar spent the day looking at me and looking at his heater:
Can you spot his Tigger in the first photo? Look who is on his bed sheet by Tigger’s leg in that photo!
Todays sheet was one of the PICU’s. I wonder if the staff just picked the first sheet they found, or whether they specifically chose one they thought we might like?
Oh, and that heater friend of Oscar’s? On April 14th I specifically took a photo of that:
Now, Tigger isn’t visible at all. Oscar had to be repositioned regularly by the nurses to prevent pressure areas from forming, but Oscar was also a bit of a wriggler. He was actually able to move himself down his bed, despite sedation and lots of tubes and wires!
Three years on I’m surprised that my memories haven’t faded as much as I thought they would. I can still remember so many of those tiny insignificant things I was afraid of forgetting. And while this blog helps, I know remembering isn’t just because of it. I can remember things I haven’t posted about here (such as having to move so the cleaner could mop under Oscar’s bed) with such clarity, that it isn’t surprising that my memories of Oscar are so much clearer.
I still have his memory box, and while it is my most treasured possession and the one thing I could never replace, it isn’t something I open that often. I carry so many memories of him with me, in my head. Yes, his box has his blue striped babygrow in it and yes it has that specimen pot of hair from a previous post, but just imagine; I only have to close my eyes to see those things so clearly in my head. And I can remember the feeling of holding him in that babygrow, and the feeling of sitting beside his bed holding that pot of hair. Yes, the physical items themselves are irreplaceable, but even if the worst should happen to them I have those memories in my mind.
I also have my phone. Every photo and video I took of Oscar is on my phone. I have access to my entire blog on there. Oscar’s photo is my screensaver. Autocorrect suggests I should write Oscar every time I begin a word with an O. Everywhere I take my phone (and honestly, I never leave home without it!) Oscar’s entire Story is with me.*
Something I have come to realise though, is that Oscar’s entire story is always with me. It’s in my head. I am the one person who is uniquely qualified to talk about Oscar. He grew within me, I gave birth to him and I was with him every day of his life. Now, he is in my heart and head for every day of mine. No one else can say that. And I think that is pretty special. And as much as I share about him, I will never be able to share everything that I feel and remember, so that other people can say they have experienced it.So while I love sharing Oscar and telling everyone all about him and I will continue to do so, I’m glad that there are some parts of him, some memories that I get to keep all to myself. That there are some parts of Oscar that are just mine.
*note: because I am completely paranoid, everything Oscar related in my phone is backed up to more than one alternative place!
Edited to add: