It is Marlon’s third birthday today. A day that should have been filled with excitement from a little boy who was looking forward to opening some presents and having a party with his friends. A day that would allow reflection back on everything that happened during the past year for us as parents: meeting new friends at Kindergarten, learning to swim (maybe), hanging out with daddy on the water in either kayak or on a paddleboard, bedtime stories, playing with mommys clay and making a mess, building sand castles at the beach, the little fights with his brother and so much more.
Instead, we are looking at another year without him and just imagine all the things that could have been. Everything that he did not get to experience. Our thoughts go back to the traumatic events that led to his death. That still feels like it could have happened yesterday with images, smells and feelings coming to mind, despite three years having passed. Some things apparently get burned into one’s mind – moments when everything took a wrong turn.
Being a parent to dead children is hard work. We want to keep their memory alive and honor them. For us as parents it is a daily routine. We speak to them and tell them how our day went. Each day is the same, their missing presence is always in our minds, not only during special days do we get emotional. It is more difficult to remember them outside of home though. Our closest friends and family have always been so supportive and they remember with us – something we are very grateful for. But the world in general has continued and everyone else is back to the regular stuff. A concept that feels so alien now. Nothing is normal.
It is difficult to put into words all the emotions and how profoundly Marlon and his brother impacted our lives. I will not try. All I will say is:
Marlon, we miss you and your brother every day. Love, Daddy