nathaniel died on a monday.
he was cremated wednesday morning. i know because i felt it. david was out of the house. i was alone. i writhed and howled and cried on the bed because he was being cremated and i could feel it.
the funeral director called david wednesday afternoon to tell him he could come and pick up the ashes.
he was gone. my sweet boy was gone. his little voice, his little presence, his little body i held in my arms and saw for only a few hours.
on friday he came back to me - burning in my mind's eye - about 4 or 5 years old. energetic. playful. with dark curly hair and 4 or 5 year-old teeth. we ran together and laughed and played tickle. i sobbed while i drove the car over a bridge. he was right there.
he was skinny like his dad - i put my hands on either side of david's stomach now, his shape, nathaniel's shape, right here.
the distance between shoulder and nipple like my (living) son. he's right here.
i don't always have him with me in my mind's eye. i can't always feel his presence. i don't entirely understand the heaviness of the grief in relationship to *him*. who is he, where is he, how is he now?
do you imagine your baby? how old is he or she in your mind? what is your relationship like?