My dearest tiny Teddy Graham,
Today is the day in which you would have, could have, and should have entered the world, naked and gooey, beautiful and perfect. It is the day I was to hear your first cry and the day I would have held you in my arms, finally. Today could have been your day to shine, and yet it’s still your day, and always will be, regardless of whether you are here or not.
It is a relatively nice day here in our new town, considering we’re in the last days of autumn. A little rainy and the mid-40s. So very different from when your sister came during the first snowfall of the season and the temperature was 15 degrees. Today would have been a perfect day to be born. I wish you could have been. For me, it’s turning out to be a much harder day than I anticipated. I thought I could make it through without any tears, but instead I can’t stop crying, or imagining, or wishing for what was. I can’t stop thinking of you.
I am so sorry, my sweet angel baby, that you never had a chance. Already, in the short time that you were with me, I had plans for you, hopes for holidays at Disney World and a happy childhood and a college education. And I often wonder what you would be like, if you would look like your sister when she was born or something completely different. Would you be quiet or colicky? Would you be happy or serious? Would you have my nose? Your daddy’s toes? Cupcake’s cheeks? Your grammy’s eyes? Or would you be someone fully, totally, uniquely you? It is a sad thing that I will never know and that you will never get to grow and evolve and become who you were meant to be. And I am sad for the world, because it would be better if you were in it. I am certain of that.
I want you to know that I never once have regretted your existence. I am not sorry that you were conceived. I am not sorry that I knew the joy of having you in my life. My only regret is that you left so soon. But you are still my little miracle. It does not matter that you did not make it. You are as precious and as cherished as any other miracle in my life. And there is a tiny part of me that does not want another miracle, another baby, because it is you who I want. I want it to be you who grows in my belly and tunnels through my pelvis and suckles at my breast. I know that can never be. You are where you are and there is no reaching you, not now. And I know that I would never forgive myself if I quit now, if I fail to give your sister the one thing I never had as a child: a sibling. So we will move forward and continue trying, but please rest assured that no one else will ever replace you. For the rest of our lives, there will be someone missing. Someone missing in our home. In our family. During the holidays. At the dinner table. You are, and will always be, missed.
But in your life and your death, I have gained so much. Things like strength and faith and hope. I have learned a lot about myself and about others. I have made new friends, because of you. Some of my relationships have faltered in my loss, but others have grown. I know now that it is possible for me to love someone in the most extraordinary ways from the moment they enter my life. And I know what it means to lose one of the most treasured things in life, the intensity of the broken heart in those first weeks, and the tide of pain that ebbs and flows in the months thereafter.
Our Christmas tree is up and I should be facing middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper blowouts, or preparing the nursery and our home for your imminent arrival. Instead, I am trying to find ways to remember you and to keep you alive in our small family. This ornament was placed on our tree today, for you:
I have also hung a stocking for you. And today, I am wearing a bracelet with pink and blue roses that says “Remember.” I am writing you this letter, as I have occasionally done in the past. And every night, we still light a candle for you. I imagine that we will stop doing some of these things as the years go by, but I don’t ever want to let people forget about you. You will not be forgotten. Not in our home or in my heart.
There are several people who miss you, who still mourn for you, people like your daddy and my mother. Maybe even my sister. But no one will ever miss you like I do. You grew inside of me, and I am so thankful for that, even if it was just for a few short weeks. I still weep for you, Teddy. Every day, I wish you were here and that you never had to leave. I look at other infants and think of you. Forever and ever, you will be my baby. But I must believe that we’ll see each other again. One day, in an everlasting life, I will hold you in my arms. I can’t wait, my darling. I love you.