A letter to my son Luca
This post is best read while listening to ‘Peter Pan’ by Arcade Fire.
The community midwife – a warm, blue-eyed lady named Beverley – came to see me this morning, after paying me and your dad a visit the day after I delivered you. We spoke about you, my darling Luca. You, and the unexpectedly amazing things you have done for us. I have to be completely honest with you – without Beverley, I might not have fully understood to what extent you had changed our lives and our futures.
You, my darling boy, opened our eyes – you opened everyone’s eyes.
You allowed us to discover something about ourselves – so concealed, so unthinkable, but so vital.
You, your tiny body, your invisible cells, became a mirror through which we are now seeing ourselves – so fragile, so imperfect, so precious.
You taught us about who we are, and illuminated a new path for us.
Your silence, your stillness, spoke a thousand words – painful, unimaginable, but necessary.
You are and will always be the minuscule, unwitting saviour of so many others – our future children, their future children, and so on. Your legacy will live forever through all of us.
You didn’t choose any of this – we didn’t choose any of this – but please believe me when I say you are our little hero.
You didn’t suffer for a single moment inside me, I always made sure of that. You grew and you thrived and you only knew love, warmth, and comfort.
I am hurt and lost and frightened, but I also feel oddly and utterly blessed with you and all that you have revealed to me. This – you, your existence, your death – was so important, and we’ll make sure it never goes unnoticed.
Sometimes, when I look at myself in the mirror, or notice my hair falling out, or lay my eyes upon this awkward, cruel post-partum body of mine, I get mad and think: “It was all for nothing!”
But it wasn’t, and now I know. It wasn’t, because through you I got in touch with a remote, unfamiliar part of myself that I never knew existed, and this part is now going to work so hard to create love, knowledge, and hope. And one day, it will create a new life, and you will be the light guiding that new life, protecting it, and allowing it to flourish like you were sadly never able to do.
Thank you, Luca.
(And thank you, Beverley, and the priceless work that the NHS does every single day.)