Bereft

Atticus is bereft, and I am Atticus bereft. Atticus was robbed, deprived of his life. It was too soon, too unexpected. We don't have the full pathology reports yet, but the virus was almost certainly some run-of-the-mill little thing. Something his brothers and I all had and barely noticed. And it conspired with his body, his little fierce body that I so loved, and stole away his life.

 Atticus loved his musical monkeys and wouldn't sleep without one. He went through a phase of being absolutely obsessed with eyes, and that turtle was his constant companion. And any toy that lit up and played music was a toy Atticus would love. Now, I even miss the dying-battery off-tune creepy noises those toys would make. I'd give anything to have Atticus pressing those buttons again, even with his teeth.

Atticus loved his musical monkeys and wouldn't sleep without one. He went through a phase of being absolutely obsessed with eyes, and that turtle was his constant companion. And any toy that lit up and played music was a toy Atticus would love. Now, I even miss the dying-battery off-tune creepy noises those toys would make. I'd give anything to have Atticus pressing those buttons again, even with his teeth.

His death certificate lists his cause of death as "complications of chromosomal anomaly". That is vaguely reassuring, and I sometimes feel gratitude towards the Medical Examiner for not writing something that I could have interpreted as "maternal complacency bordering on neglect", which is what I often feel killed him. I will never stop wondering how things might have played out had I taken him in sooner. But I didn't, and so this virus wormed its way inside his adrenal glands and robbed me of my firstborn. I saw it happen before my eyes, saw him lose the consciousness that he never regained. Which, if it had to happen, I am glad it happened that way, because the next few hours were brutal. The process of saving a life is the most violent thing I have ever personally witnessed. I don't want to talk about it but can't stop thinking of it. I close my eyes and see needles jammed forcefully into his leg bones. I see his whole body jarring from the compressions. I see young, strong, fit men with sweat pouring off of them, rotating every two minutes and think how very hard they were shoving on his most-fragile body. The 32-pounds I lifted in and out of the car every day, carried up and down the stairs, wore on my hip while walking, walking, walking to keep him happy.

 Atticus's celebration of life. This entire room was filled with pictures of Atticus and some of his favorite toys and activities.

Atticus's celebration of life. This entire room was filled with pictures of Atticus and some of his favorite toys and activities.

I miss him so very much. His little hands, fingers crooked and splayed, reaching up for mine, asking to go on a walk. His inability to walk past the oven, dishwasher, or closet door without repeatedly opening and closing it (while laughing his contagious laugh), and then leaving it open for me to close, only to repeat two minutes later. Even the tasks I didn't enjoy have left huge holes. I haven't cleaned up vomit since January 5th, and instead of being happy, I am distraught. I miss him yelling at me while I change his diapers, putting cream on his constantly-sore little bum. Putting his shoes back on for the zillionth time. Swinging and spinning him around to stop his anger, which often left me confused. I thought I'd have my entire lifetime to figure him out. I can't believe I don't.

I miss my little man, my firstborn, my Atticus so very much.