Last Easter was so full of hope. I was married to the love of my life and in a matter of weeks, we were going to meet our first child. My maternity leave had just started. I had my 35-week check-up that showed a bouncing, happy, healthy baby. We spent Good Friday at the beach finalising baby names and Saturday with friends. Everything was perfect.
It’s hard to think back to that time now. It was a time when I still believed that healthy babies didn’t die. It was a time when stillbirth wasn’t part of my vocabulary. It was the last time I was truly happy.
I knew that the run-up to April would be hard. Reliving those days in a new and vastly different reality would be painful, the stark contrast somewhat cruel. But as with most of this journey, I had no choice. Each day passed and before I knew it Easter was upon me.
Benjamin being born on Easter Sunday means that we have two anniversaries…his actual birthday (16th April) and whenever Easter falls that year. I didn’t know which was going to be worse and I wasn’t looking forward to finding out.
I woke up on Easter Sunday not knowing what to expect. The previous weeks had been suffocating and painful, punctuated with crippling flashbacks of that fateful day when our world changed forever. There was nothing to indicate that this of all days would be any different but to my surprise it was.
Instead of being met with the usual debilitating grief I had become so accustomed to I was met with a strange sense of hope. I felt light like a weight had been lifted. I felt love. A love so great that it shone brighter than anything else that day. I felt my little boy so close to me that I could swear he was there.
Don’t ask me what we did that day. I actually can’t remember. All I can remember is my heart bursting with love. Somehow despite all the pain and the yearning we had a nice day. I can’t explain it and in some ways, I don’t want to try. Just as the bad days are what they are so was this. It just was.
Hope isn’t something that has come easily to me in the last year. It was stripped away from me in spectacular fashion as soon as Benjamin’s heart stopped beating and it has been elusive ever since. But the great love that we have for Benjamin and that he has for us will never die. It will live on in us forever. Benjamin’s light will always shine through, bringing us hope when we least expect it.