Is, as per the post mortem report, the exact age Patrick was when he passed away.
On August 16th this year, Eoghan will be that age exactly. A day I am moving towards to with mixed feelings.
I anticipate a sense of relief that Eoghan will have made it past that age.
Perhaps I won't go to bed wondering if he'll still be alive when I wake up in the morning quite as much anymore?
Maybe, I won't call the creche in a little semi panic every time I have a missed call from a private number? (Their calls show up like that...).
I don't know but can only play it by ear.
But, I also anticipate a bit of a sense of loss because all of a sudden Eoghan is out there on his own..
Though he now gets to be the individual he of course deserves to be, we'll never again be able to say: "When Patrick was Eoghan's age he also...."
There is something dreadfully final about that.
It makes me more determined to ensure Eoghan grows up knowing about his brother and hopefully feeling some kind of a connection. I'd hate for Patrick not to mean anything to him.
It is cruel enough that he will never get a chance to enjoy that bond between brothers and have Patrick be his best man at his wedding...At least I hope Patrick will appear in a speech or two. I could not imagine going through an occasion like this without Patrick being mentioned...and missed.
That does not mean we continue living in the past. It does not mean we do not enjoy the here and now and look forward to the future.
BUT...our son Patrick is part of our past and will still be part of our here and now and our future. All this is part of us now and some might find it weird that I say I hope he will be talked about and missed at family occasions.
I say: Why not? He belongs to this family. Why should it be only ok for him to be remembered in silence? Why should it be wrong for me to want to hear his name mentioned now and every day for the rest of my life?
If we included his name on a birthday card, most would think this is not right and actually quite weird...he's dead after all, isn't he?
To those I say: Have you any idea how weird it is not to be able to sign his name anymore? How much of a traitor I feel for excluding or even denying him by just signing off the card with Steph, Pat and Eoghan? Yet, I'd feel odd for putting his name down at the same time.
Patrick is not our sad little family secret; he is our son.
The only positive thing I take from his passing is that it makes me savour every moment we have with his brother. Spending time with him, enjoying the cute little things he does and says. It may have made me a more attentive parent.
Thank you, Sproggy...