Nine years ago tomorrow

Nine years ago tomorrow. Eight versions of dealing with the day your child dies an unexpected and preventable death almost done now. I’m no longer flattened three, five, eight, twelve weeks before this day. Which is something. I was always baffled how Connor’s death day eclipsed his birthday.

I cook. That’s a constant. Cook and cry. I still can’t think about it though. That day. I just can’t. Or the day before. Nine years ago today.

This week I started to worry about churning the same static photo-based memories. About memories weakening. I notice his Shrek toy has been nibbled by moths. His clothes and other treasures so carefully packed away nine years ago look diminished, dated. Out of time. Once Lynx drenched t-shirts smell musty almost.

I think about our neighbour, Norah. In her 90s when we moved to our old house over twenty years ago. The first time I met her she told me about about her grandson who was 13 when he died. Picking his photo from a panoply of family photos on a side table to share and talk about. A school photo, cheeky face, uniform, promise, potential, life. I didn’t know how to think about or respond to what Norah told me. Then.

She was decades ahead of nine years. And still talking about him.

A mate mentions the closeness between Rosie, Will, Owen and Tom. And their partners. About the intensity of their love. Before and after Connor died. I look at photos. Including some from the lost day in London. A banger of a day in unexpected ways.

And breathe again.