On December 22nd of last year, I was lying in a hospital bed, holding my lifeless son in my arms. My body was broken. My heart was crushed. This life that I had created, was no longer. And nobody even knew. My cellphone buzzed all day. Social media stirred. Happy birthday wishes waited for me. It was the first bit of proof: my world was shattered, but theirs was not. Nobody else could feel the universe crumbling around me.
The days keep passing. The world keeps turning. Life keeps going. I have no choice but to carry on without him. But I will never forget. I will never let go. There is a difference between moving on and letting go. My feet will continue to move forward. I get out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other. I go to work. I hug my preschoolers. I laugh with my friends. I try to plan for a better future. I try to live in the present, rather than reliving the nightmare of my 26th birthday: the day of Lincoln’s death. I busy myself with countless projects. I overwhelm myself with things to do; giving myself other things to focus on.
But I do not let go.
I cannot let go. Moving forward with my life, will not include forgetting about my precious baby boy. I do not heal by forgetting; but rather by honoring him. I will continue to share him. I will continue to say his name. I do this with the most pure love that I have ever known. But I also do it out of fear. Time keeps passing. Life keeps going. And Lincoln is not here for you to see. Only a handful of people got to see his sweet face in person. Only a few got to touch his soft skin. Very few people have witnessed the excruciating pain of losing him. People forget.
The passing time is bringing me a heaviness. One year. It’s less than two months away. Before Link was born, I was so upset that his birthday was at Christmastime. I grew up with that dilemma. I know how it works. A birthday just isn’t as special as Christmas. My mom always did the best that she could to make my birthday its own celebration, but it rarely fell on the day of my actual birth. I saw the same fate for Lincoln’s birthday. Now that he’s gone, the timing makes me afraid. I have a sense of desperation for his birthday to be remembered. Christmastime will overshadow my most important day of each year. I do not want to relive the pain of the unknowing birthday wishes. The Facebook wall full of half-hearted Happy Birthdays. On December 22nd, when you wish me a happy birthday; please do not forget him. As time keeps passing and your life keeps going, please, I am begging you, do not forget Lincoln.