After nearly six months, we are still in quarantine. We are working from home, going to school virtually, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I walked into a restaurant. We are isolated, and alone.
But, I am never alone. My son, and my dog, and my husband, are always here. We are all, always home. My baby is in Heaven and everyone else is no more than 20 yards away from me at all times.
I work at my desk. Or the kitchen table. Or the couch. None of these places is an office, and none is terribly comfortable for typing. I am a writer and I sit at my computer for hours a day. I have tendinitis in my wrist and physically cannot write with my hand, but I type nearly all day, every day.
And in between typing, I help with school. First grade is a lot harder than I remember. Especially with Google meetings, online assignments, screaming children, each in their own homes competing for attention and interrupting, while the teacher attempts to give instruction. It’s chaos. And madness. And while it’s going on, I write.
While I type, and teach, and live side by side my family in our little house, I think about my angel. There was never space between us. He always wore a monitor, to alert me when his oxygen level dropped. I’d watch the number, allowing myself to drift to sleep when it stayed comfortably above 90.
I never wanted space from him. He was my baby, and I was his mom. I fed him through a tube, I changed wet diapers, I monitored his oxygen, and I listened to him breathe. I’d hold him, and rock him, and sing to him, and just love him. Even after his being in Heaven more than five years, I still feel like a part of me is missing.
And though I am never alone, I am also incomplete. There is a space, even in this home where I have no solitude, where a piece of my heart used to be.
I can not touch him. I cannot hear him, or kiss him, or snuggle him.
I ache for the part of me where he used to be.
It’s a terrible feeling. Aching for something that will never return. How is it possible to feel so alone, to feel so lonely, when I am never, ever alone? I can’t reconcile this ache. I have days where it aches less. And days where the ache is all I feel.
Part of me, on some days, feels thankful for this time. I get to spend day after day with my little angel on Earth—an opportunity I had only with our angel in Heaven when he was very, very sick.
Even though it feels like too much to bear, I try to feel content and thankful that I get to watch my only child on Earth navigate a time where we, as adults, feel pressure, heaviness, and fear. To him, it’s more time to ride his bike, draw with chalk on the driveway, and jump on his trampoline.
To me, it’s the absence of one angel, and the constant nagging that I’m never doing enough for the other.