Tuesday, October 19, 2010

he would be five

Another year has passed.

Another year with a hole in our family right between Liam and Simon. This hole is imperceptible to most -even those who know it exists- but, to me, it's gaping. This hole should contain a little boy whose birthday we would be celebrating today. A likely loud and crazy five year old to add to the already loud and crazy chaos that reigns here most days.

It's a Nathaniel-shaped hole.

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Because Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is October 15th each year, and the anniversary of Nathaniel's birth and death is October 19th, the middle of this month is always rather... emotionally charged. Even if I wanted to "forget" this day was coming, it would be impossible.

Not that I want to forget. THAT would be impossible.

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Five years later, I can say that the sting of Nathaniel's death has gone out of my memories of him (hazy, dream-like images seen through the heavy fog of exhaustion and powerful anaesthetic drugs). The searing intensity of grief and loss has ebbed. The rawness is gone. The pain is still there, but it's more of an ache. A dull roar rather than a piercing scream that tears through my heart without any warning. A throbbing that lies below the surface, always present, but now covered over by the experiences and life lived over the last five years... including the addition of two life-filled little boys and the anticipation of the newest member of our family. 

But it is hard not to wonder what our life would be like with him still in it... what HE would be like.

An almost-black-haired little boy with eyes that would have likely turned some shade of brown, like Andrews. I'm sure that, like Liam and Simon, he'd love all things Lego and Star Wars and Clone Wars and Bionicles, and would gravitate towards heros like Indiana Jones and Iron Man and knights and soldiers and super heros. I know he would laugh at America's Funniest Home Videos and Garfield comics and Wipeout along with his brothers.

I wonder if he'd sit quietly and spellbound during our readings of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia like his older brother, Liam, or if he'd squirm in his bed like his two younger brothers. I wonder if he'd prefer soccer or hockey. If he'd have allergies like Simon and Andrew, or be able to eat anything like Liam. If he'd be reading on his own yet, or riding a bike without training wheels. I wonder what his personality would be like. What would be his strengths and weaknesses? What kind of brother would he be? What kind of son?

I do know that he would be loved.

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Somewhere today, that sweet boy who I will have to wait my lifetime to know is celebrating his fifth birthday with his cousin, Lachlan, and with his grandpa, my dad. He is perfect and whole and healthy and happy. He is being toasted by angels and sung to by family and friends who have passed before. He is surrounded by love and light and the glory of God. 

And he is loved.

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For those of you who are new(ish) to this blog, here is the video we played at Nathaniel's service. For those who've been reading for awhile, no obligation to watch it again. I know it's not a "fun" thing to watch. It is, however, almost all we have. The little box of mementos from the hospital -his bracelets, copies of his hand and foot prints, the comb we used to brush his hair, the tiny preemie sleeper we dressed him in- all those things are thousands of miles away in a storage facility in Ottawa. And his little grave is next to his cousin's in Regina.

And so we watch his video and experience again the wonder of his birth, the pain of his loss, and the love we will always feel for our sweet boy, Nathaniel Achaziah Bundy.      

17 comments:

  1. I just sent you guys and email about sweet Nathaniel and then I saw and read this post. He is loved and he is perfect and whole and for that I am so thankful. We love you guys and offer up our prayers in faith that you feel the hugs from so far away. xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. You are an amazing mother. Huge hugs and love and prayers to you. xo

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  3. Oh Amy, how I remember walking those days with you!! You are an amazing women of strength and I admire you in so many ways. I hope that you know how your sweet little Nathaniel touched so many of us....much love to you. By the way, you are a beautiful writer, I always enjoy reading your posts:)

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  4. Best wishes to you and your family as you remember your sweet Nathaniel. Happy heavenly birthday, little boy.

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  5. Love you guys and praying for you! Happy Birthday Nathaniel! Someday, we will all line up and each one of us will be able to give you a big birthday hug and shower you with kisses.

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  6. oh amy, thanks for sharing this. i could not keep myself from crying if i tried... my heart opening to the sadness and the magic and the courage of your experience. You are a phenomenal mama, Liam continues to be an AMAZING big brother, and your family is blessed to have each other... both on earth and in heaven.
    i just sent you an email before dinner when i remembered the day... and only know have had a chance to read your blog. i am sending you huge hugs and always LOVE.

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  7. I first started reading your blog about a year ago and read through "Nathaniel's Story" in one evening, alternating crying and praying.

    Even then I admired your faith, your strength and your beautiful spirit. Happy heavenly birthday, Nathaniel. Be assured of my prayers for your family on earth.

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  8. I posted a comment yesterday but did something wrong I guess so here is another try, after seeing your twitter comment from this morning.

    It is wonderful that you posted this blog. The power of your words in communicating your sense of grief and loss, but also your faith, was deeply moving. As I watched the video I was touched by the soundtrack as well since it contained many Christian songs that I love. The message of your family's strength and acceptance of something which remains a mystery in the greater plan for your lives was powerful. I pray for your darling son who is in eternal peace, and for you who live and wait for the day when all will be revealed and you will be together again. Thanks for sharing your story and your faith.

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  9. Happy 5th Birthday Nathaniel!! We're thinking about you all today Amy (and were yesterday). We have Nathaniel's picture up next to the other cousins for Bella to see. We love you!

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  10. Sally (kiwimum@tbw)October 20, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    I'm a couple of days late reading this, but I couldn't NOT comment.

    Of course nothing I say will make anything better, so I sit here not knowing what to type....

    But at least you now know I have read, and am remembering Nathaniel along with you.

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  11. Happy Birthday Nathaniel!!!!! 5 years (one of my favorite ages!!)

    A. Dianne

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  12. I'm crying for you. And sending you a hug.

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  13. I am really late reading this, but I wanted to thank you for sharing Nathaniel with us, with me. I am sorry you lost him way too soon.

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  14. Hi,We dont know each other, but I just have to leave a comment. Thank You for sharing your story. Reading and watching this was heart breaking, I couldnt keep myself from crying. I am so sorry for your loss. Happy Birthday Nathaniel. My prayers are with you and your family.

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