What are we searching for?

Yesterday, yesterday Henry we packed our bags, packed up all our warm jackets and jumpers and clothes to prepare for a trip to Tasmania. Yesterday while packing I cried, I cried as I thought I shouldn’t be packing for a trip away… I should be staying home and holding you, feeding you, cuddling you. That longing for you never goes. As I packed I made sure I put in my handbag your little blue bear.

Yesterday afternoon we had to drop your dads van to your nanny and poppy, so your poppy can drive it to work and try to sell the van so we can work on your car… When we left your Nanny and Poppy’s house I had tears in my eyes, your dad and I pulled out of the driveway way and both looked at one another and I saw the tears in his eyes too, we knew in the morning we were leaving our security behind, certain people and our home have been like a little secure bubble for us Henry.

Today Henry we got up early, we showered packed up the car and drove the two hours to Sydney, Today there wasn’t the excitement like I would normally have when leaving for a holiday…. only an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach… so much anxiousness it was like someone was able to twist my stomach in to a knot on the insides and at moments during that drive the knot became tighter, sometimes it loosened allowing a little bit of relief. Tears stayed close to my eyes as your dad and I we tried to make light conversation, the only thing is light conversation can be hard to come by when you’re in your grief.

We got to the airport, checked in and tried find something to eat as we had left without breakfast, neither of us have a very big appetite these days but we are making each other eat… we settled with average airport food then headed to the gate, at the gate I got out your little blue bear, I am going to take photos of him all throughout our travels, and keep him close as I know you are always by our sides.

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As we sat in the terminal I watched people arrive to sit and others walk by, a man a few rows over looked our way many times, I wondered as he looked is it obvious, is our grief showing, even though we are sitting normally as any other couple can they tell? I looked around at all the people and thought no, I wondered as I looked is anyone else here hurting too?

After boarding the plane as it was about to take off tears again, I really want to embrace this trip Henry, I want to for you, I want to for your Dad and for myself too….. But it just feels so wrong the reason behind it all to try to find some peace, escape the world that waits us at home, escape the reality of you being gone… Tears silently fell I would stay home for the rest of my life if it meant you could be here.

Throughout the flight drifting in and out of light sleep, watching out the window the big ocean below, your Dad read a magazine, I heard conversations around me… people excited to be exploring somewhere new, people arriving home to loved ones and here we were flying to try to get away together, to a different place, to hopefully find comfort, to find ways to cope, to find?? I don’t even know what we are searching for.

As we arrived in Hobart, we walked to the baggage claim, there was a really cute beagle sniffer dog with her handler on the way… you had to hold your bags to the left as you went past… I didn’t know this Henry so your Dad handed me the bag he had hanging on his right shoulder I thought he wanted me to carry it so I placed it on my right “Bags to the side” said the handler as we walked past, I thought he meant to his side so I placed it down…. “she only needs one sniff” said the handler your Dad laughing at me, “I didn’t know that’s what he meant” I said to your Dad giving him a look then smiling at him… Your Dad replied “It was like you were giving yourself up, here you go here’s my bag I am guilty” I laughed… “Well you were no help” I replied “You didn’t explain when you gave me the bag, it was like you were going to give it to me to be caught and quickly run” we both laughed your Dad nudging me…

We got our baggage, our hire car and off we set to our accommodation Henry, a small terrace house in the north of Hobart.. Fire place on as soon as we got in. We got settled and went for a walk, exploring the shops and restaurants nearby and stopping for lunch. The place we stopped for lunch looked good, we walked in and got menus and went to walk to our seats…. All inside about four newborn babies and their mums and friends at different tables, I almost lost my breath I couldn’t sit in there we walked out and found a table outside… Does the universe hate me? I thought to myself we just want to sit for a nice lunch and it’s like a kick in the guts to remind me we don’t have you here, I don’t get to meet friends for lunch and show you off.. instead when I am up for it I get to maybe go out for a walk and a coffee and yes I talk about you, but I don’t get to hold you, have my friends hold you and smile and laugh and talk about funny stories of being a first time mum.

We ate our delicious lunch and walked down the street as we did a billboard with advertisements that changed stood on the corner of a building, as I looked up it changed from a gym to an advertisement for a local obstetrician and the picture of a pregnant woman with a big belly, “of course” I said to your Dad… not only did it seem like the whole of north Hobart was pushing prams and populating the billboard had to shove it in my face too. On the way back from our walk we stopped in to a book store, just as we left with our books…. well you guessed it heavily pregnant woman turned right in front of me. I have nothing against these actual people but at the moment some days it can sting to see this, I know I can’t avoid it Henry, and I don’t want too but today it was just hard.

We plan to each night sit by the fire and read, I am hoping that by doing so, by relxing by the fire with a book it may help, it might help with thoughts, with sleep, with finding calm light moments within the darkness that surrounds us.

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Tonight your Dad and I sit by the fire we have had pizza and prosecco, we sit quietly with music playing in the background. I really want to and hope to make the most of this trip, to see the beauty, to see your Dad smile, to feel joy in the days and what we find. I want to take this time to be. I am hoping you will guide me Henry, guide me to notice things I would normally never notice, guide me to see the joy in everyday and as you do so I will hold you, I will hold you in my heart I will talk fondly of you and remember you, my beautiful precious boy.

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Author: Letters to Henry

My husband and I live on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia. We are currently learning to rebuild and navigate through life after the loss of our son Henry to stillbirth due to medical negligence in April of this year.

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