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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When Missing You is Forever

May 10, 2020

 

My dear, sweet boy,

I miss you.

But it’s so much more than that.

I’m not sure there are words to even describe what missing you forever feels like. There is a quote that I frequently refer to that I think sums it up best…

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

 

… Yup, “empty” feels like the right word. But again, it’s so much more than that.

 

And, it’s May. The hardest month of the year. Every day a sad reminder of the day our world changed forever. I wonder every May if your angel date won’t sting so much, but almost nine years later, the sting still stings.

 

And, today is Mother’s Day. You and Justin and Ben are the best part of me and I am missing all of you.

The social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 have not allowed me to see your brothers but, thankfully, that is a “just for now” thing. I will see them soon, but you, Will, are the one I will miss forever. Today I think of my own Mom, your Nana, and how much she means to me — how in this world she is the one person I’ve known the longest (ahem, like my whole life!) and whom I have always been able to count on in good times and in bad. I hope you know that every minute of your 12 ½ years I loved you more than the minute before and that all these days later my big love for you just gets bigger.

 

 

My heart smiles recalling all the beautiful, and sometimes funny, gifts and kind gestures that you and your brothers and Dad did to make Mother’s Day extra special for me. I am lucky to have had all of what you boys could muster when what mattered the most was that we were together. Believe me, Will, I have tucked every special memory and every cold piece of toast into my heart. I have kept every homemade card and gift you boys ever made at school and that big box of love is one of my most treasured possessions. Today I will spend my day touching and reading every one of them remembering the tiny and not-so-tiny hands that created them.

 

I will pause and remember the sound of your infectious giggle and call to mind how you’d sit at the kitchen table with that big tub of Crayola markers and crayons and construction paper and pipe cleaners and stickers and tape. Oh, how you loved tape. With a juice box and a bowl of fishy crackers at your side.

My sweet Will, I miss you so very much. I miss all the yesterdays, I miss you today and I will miss you for all the tomorrows.

And I love you. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever… Like a bus from here to forever and then a whole bunch more.

 

Momxo

 

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