A Loss Like No Other
I want to start this by saying that while this kind of loss is in no way comparable to the finality of losing a child to death, this does not negate the grief and pain felt through an event such as child loss through forced adoption.
Alone in a dark, small office. An old wooden desk between myself and two social workers with not an ounce of compassion to muster between them. Two adults, who seemingly need each other for support to tell one petite, terrifyingly vulnerable, barely 18-year-old girl that her five-month-old son would not be coming home with her; yet she must go through this alone.
Being told that the son that is your everything, will not be coming home to you because there are people in the world who don’t see you fit enough to care for him is one of the most shameful things I have ever experienced in my 32 years of life. My inner self, on her knees with tears streaming from her face, voice cracking and sore from screaming that I didn’t do this to my son. Begging, pleading for someone, anyone to believe me.
When my son was born, he was 5 weeks premature but healthy enough to not need intervention. After a very difficult pregnancy suffering from a severe pregnancy illness that caused me to lose weight and starve from the inability to keep anything down for the duration, seeing the result of the fight I put in to keep on going made it all so very worth it. I’d have gone through that pain ten times over to be able to have this little boy. After my son was born and we were taken back to the ward, I had a moment with him before the nurses allowed me to rest. I sat and talked to him like he understood every word I was saying. I told him how much I wanted him, how one night not too long ago I had wished upon star for him and that wish came true. I told him he would forever be my one and only and that I would take care of him, protect him and love him for the rest of my life. I told him about all the things I wanted us to do together, how it would be me and him against the world.
In an instant, sat in that social services office, that memory was broken into pieces, too harrowing to recall. Void of life. What once could have been for us, would now never be. I had failed at keeping him safe and people believed I could be responsible. Unable to show people that never in my darkest moments could I even contemplate such an act. Unable to make people see that this little boy was loved more than anyone had ever been loved, needed more than anyone was ever needed and wanted more than anyone could ever be wanted. I would have locked me and him in a tower, away from the world, had it meant I could keep him safe. But the world is a cold, cruel and callous place. I had trusted the wrong person and paid the ultimate price.
After losing my son, I lost the courage to call myself a Mum. I lost all that made me a Mum in my eyes. I lost his smell, his breath, I lost that presence in my arms, that part of me that broke off when he was born, gained life and brought a light in to my world. A love I never knew could exist, gone from my life. Taken from me. Lost.
A loss unlike death, and yet with grief that is just as agonising. A loss like no other.