photo by Margaret Durow
Em T,  mother of two boys—one here and one gone—guest writes for us today.

I find myself saying your name over and over.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”

I want to remember that you were here. You were my first baby. I had 4 months and 2 days with you, my sweet little man.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”

I don’t want to forget the way your name feels in my mouth, how it sounds when it’s said out loud.

Because it doesn’t get said out loud very often anymore. I think that others think that enough time has passed. That maybe they don’t want to remind me of you, my great love, my great loss. I think they think your little brother keeps me occupied and that I’m not missing you always.

They don’t understand that both of those things happen simultaneously. I am deliriously in love with your brother and constantly remembering and missing you.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”

It is a fine tightrope that I walk. Your name is the pole that helps keep my balance, but there is no safety net. And I don’t even like heights all that much. Yet I walk, and balance, and wobble, and walk.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”

I think that my biggest fear is that you will be forgotten. Not by me, although my memories are now pretty much only the ones that photos and videos trigger, but by everyone else. Not just mere acquaintances, but closer family and friends. They don’t wake up and go to sleep with your name on their breath.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”

I want to shout it from the rooftops and scream it into the ocean. I want to write it on scraps of paper and hide them in nooks and crannies. I want everyone to know that you were here and you were so so loved.

Your little brother now says “Goodnight, Henry” to your picture on his nightly lap through the house… your name coming from his mouth is soothing to me… although my heart breaks a little that you never got to hear it, never got to meet him.

“Henry, Henry, Henry."

I’m not religious, but there is a part of me that aches for the chance to see you again when I die. That there might really be something like Heaven and your little baby clutches and coos will be there to greet me.

Until then, I will keep saying your name, to remind me, to remind everyone, of how much you are missed.

“Henry, Henry, Henry.”


How does the missing in your family or relationships manifest? Do you talk to your baby(ies), or talk to others of them? In what small ways do you send love to the beloved?