Grief and Loss

Tear stained pillow

I have a tear stained pillow. Each time I change the cover it reminds me of just how long I have cried for my son. In the depths of the night when everything is silent and dark, my tears flow, only to be caught by my pillow. I recall some nights crying so much I soaked it right through to the other side. The purchase of this pillow was made when pregnant, with the intentions of breastfeeding Alexander comfortably. Sometimes I question why I keep it. It’s horribly marked now with brownish yellow patches and there is barely a white space left. But unfortunately I don’t have many keepsakes and I cling to this pillow as it was used by my baby…. Just like you might cling to that snippet of hair or those moulded footprints. The pillow is a reminder of what I have gone through and will continue to go through. When Alexander died, we left the room what felt like quite quickly. After being in my arms for three entire days it was time to hand over his body and say our final farewell. In the days following, the hospital called as we had left some belongings behind….. The pillow being one of them. As much as I never thought I’d have the opportunity to use it, this pillow has been used. It supported my back whilst I held my dying baby. It held my son whilst he was cuddled on my lap in his final days. It cushioned my head when my own comfort was the last thing on my mind. There are still nights I cuddle up to the thing and have a good cry. I used it to breastfeed Harvey and take to bed for that extra piece of comfort. After all, it’s been through more then a normal Pillow. I suppose you can say it’s a bit like me now, been through more then it should for its age. After all it’s only three years old. A little worn and battered and stained and marked underneath, however slip on a new cover and it looks brand new. You would never know what it has been through. What that pillow has seen and experienced. It can still sit and be present ever so gracefully as if it was just an ordinary pillow but when you really look at it, underneath all those fancy cases, the pillow tells a very different story.