Sometimes one person can be missing and the whole world feels empty

~ anonymous ~

JoniBouchard.jpgWelcome to my Love Letters to Will. I am the mother of three boys; two who run and one who soars. Tragically, on the long weekend in May 2011, I lost my youngest son, Will, at the age of 12 1/2. Losing Will has changed me and life as I knew it forever. To imagine is one thing, but to have to live it is another.

In the first year, I wrote Will a daily love letter. I talked to him everyday for 12½ years and I wasn’t about to stop. I couldn’t stop. This daily ritual helped me to, quite literally, survive. I looked forward to some time each day to be with him, to talk to him, to write to him, to imagine that he was sitting with me talking like we used to.

I still write to Will, though not every day. Sometimes I sit in my comfy chair, sometimes I lay in his bed propped up against his pillows like when we used to read together before his bedtime. I’ve taken my laptop down to the river and sat on the banks, written to him while I waited in a waiting room or an office; I’ve written to him as I sat in the passenger seat on our way to Fernie, woken in the early morning before the busyness of the day to write to him, and sometimes made it the last thing I did before I climbed into my own bed. It doesn’t matter where I am or what time it is… I look forward to my quiet time with Will and to writing him a letter.

I’ll need to explain a couple of things that won’t make any sense if you have no background of my relationship with Will. First, Will had many nicknames and I often refer to him in my letters as Willy (obvious), and the WillBilly (I’m not even sure how and when that started, but we called him that often), and “Little Mr. Blue Sky” (after his favourite song, Mr. Blue Sky by ELO). Secondly, for as long as I can remember, Will and I ended each day with a tuck in and the words “love you like a bus”. I know it doesn’t make sense, but when he was little, buses were huge in his world and he believed that you could never love anyone or anything bigger than a bus. And so, this phrase evolved and we used it always. So when I end a letter with that phrase which Will and I sometimes shortened to “lulab” (love u like a bus) you’ll get what I mean.

If you, too,  are a mom who is living the unimaginable loss of a child I hope that through sharing my Love Letters to Will you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  You  might find parallels in your own journey and are looking for a way to continue a relationship with your child, even though it is not the physical one that we on earth only know.  Thank you for allowing me to share my Will with you in this way.

To those of you who have your children I hope that my Love Letters to Will will remind you that Motherhood is a labour of love and that your children are gifts.  There are days when mothering is difficult, when we sometimes wish away the hard parts, but here is what I know for sure. Nothing will ever be as difficult as losing them.

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One Love

March 28, 2020

 

 

Dear Willy,

 

It’s crazy down here. And, as you look down on our world I wonder what you must be thinking? It’s hard to even believe that we are where we are. But, my sweet boy, we are. I cannot help but appreciate what heaven must be like right now… where eternal love and beauty are uninterrupted and where there is no wrong, no hurt and no pain. A place where there are no coronaviruses… and perhaps the only place right now where there is no COVID-19!

 

Down here we are praying for the safety of ALL who are on the front line of this crisis – all the healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, grocers, pharmacists, truck drivers… all who are providing essential needs to where we can access them… Our world needs big love right now and the best way to love this world is to heed the advice of the scientists and medical professionals and stay home. And so, we are hunkering down at home. Dad and I are committed to keeping our small bubble safe, as are your brothers in their own little bubbles. And Finn, well, I think he’s never been happier. He’s never left at home alone!

 

Many times throughout the day I find myself looking up to the sky for answers and for hope. I look up there because that is where you are and, well, that other big guy, too… the guy I refer to as God. I trust that he’s got this and that you are helping him share the light and the hope and the love. Send an extra big helping to those on the front line and those fighting for their lives because right now they need it most.

 

I believe that at some point the world will be able to return to some semblance of what we once called normal but, too, I hope that we are all better people for it. I hope that our world can be kinder and more grateful and that we can celebrate every day for the blessed ordinariness of the little things that too many take for granted. Our time here is finite and we can all make a difference. The world needs to unite in this crisis. We are not an “us and them” but one big ole world who needs lots of big ole one love.

 

I’ve unpacked the “ONE LOVE” canvas that you painted when you were 11 years old and I think I will never pack it away again. It needs to be hung in our home where we can love it everyday, not only because your little hands created it, but also because it is a message that we need to practice everyday.

 

I miss you, little blue. And I love you. More than a bus and bigger than our big ole hurting world right now.

 

Keep on shining your little light, Willy. Our world needs it so much.

 

 

Momxo

 

 

 

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