Feels like Home
How strange that this place feels like home.
Yes... that's totally strange. Terrible things happened here, how could I ever call such a place home? But somewhere inside me I feel comforted here in a way I just can't find outside of these walls.
While Woods was sleeping one night I ventured down the hallway to the old NICU, it's packed up and empty, but still standing - a relic of life and death for so many families that passed through those doors. I leaned my hands on the glass & peeked through a window. I could see the door to the pump room & the place where the huge industrial freezers sat that stored all my milk. I could see a sliver of the room where other tiny babies fought to stay alive. I wished I could go in, go sit in a chair and breathe in the stale air.
It's weird, I get it.
Most people avoid the place where deep heartache took place, afraid the sight of anything related to that pain will trigger an unraveling. But I want to be near it, I want to hear the beeps and see the nurses walk by our door at 2am. It feels so odd to say out loud, but I feel at home in the place where our deepest trauma took place.
Lochlan's home was here, in this hospital. This is where I knew him. His only nursery was a private tiny room filled with machines and nurses. We never left, everything I did to love and support him happened here.
And I miss it.
In a group therapy session a mom broke down in tears when I said we never brought Lochlan home. Her own daughter passed when she was 16. When she finally caught her breathe she said something I'll never, ever forget.
"I'm crying because I can't decide what's worse. Losing your child when they are grown, knowing them inside and out and having years of love crash around you - or losing your child when they are babe, getting no time at all... no toothbrush and no favorite toy to pick up and cry over."
So. This is why I love this place. It was my son's home. People knew him here, I knew him here. And of course we make space for him in our house, but this is the place I touched him, where our bodies were one - until they weren't.
I never want that feeling to fade