Last week I received a disc of pictures in the mail. These pictures are from the day you died. I have not seen this pictures. I had put the disc in the cupboard with the intentions of giving the disc to Aunt Alisa to hold for me. I didn’t think I was going to look at them.
Monday. Your Daddy left for work. Elo was eating breakfast in the living room and watching a tv show. I went to the cupboard, grabbed the disc, and put it in the computer. I could hear the computer reading the disc and I could feel my heart beat in my ears. I could feel my body temperature rising. My stomach started to turn. I double clicked on the disc icon. I started to scroll through the pictures. I saw pictures of bedrooms, phones, the kitchen. They took pictures of everything. There was a picture of the pack and play with your paci laying inside. Then I started to see pictures of a doll in the pack and play. They had reenacted what happened. The doll was face down, wrapped in a large comforter. This was news to me. I had always assumed it was a baby quilt blanket. This blanket was like a blanket I use on my bed. They showed how the comforter was draped over the crib next to the pack and play. It was basically hanging into your pack and play. Clearly you would be able to reach it.
I continued to scroll, I held my breath. Then there you were. You looked fake. I didn’t believe it was you at first. I recognized the clothes you were wearing. I remember distinctly the moment when, Dave, the funeral director handed me back the outfit you had been wearing. You were purple and pale. Blood had pooled in your body. Your eyelashes were matted down. Your hair was stuck to your head like you had been sweating and then it dried. Your eyes were open but not all the way. Your arms were stiff and your fists clenched. Your mouth was blue and purple and I could see your teeth. There seemed to be blood on your tongue, like maybe you had bit it? You were laying on top of a dresser that was used for a changing table. The pads were still attached to your body from where they hooked up a machine. You looked alone. I didn’t cry. I took it all in.
I had always questioned whether or not the first responders really tried to save you and gave it their best effort. Now I know that you couldn’t be saved. You were gone. Really gone. So in that respect I have peace. I can let that question go. I had always wanted to see you the way I dropped you off. Because I only got to see you at the funeral home after your autopsy. At that point you had been cut up. I always imagined that you would have looked like you were sleeping in these pictures. I was wrong. You looked horrible. It is amazing that they were able to make you look so good after that.
I sat there with the picture of your face filling the screen of my computer, staring into your beautiful blue eyes. I couldn’t stop looking into your eyes. I have looked at these pictures everyday this week. As your mom I felt I had to see them. I had to see everything that you went through. It was weird to me that these pictures were out there and I hadn’t seen them. You are my daughter. I gave birth to you. I nursed you and cared for you. I needed to see them.
Your eyes were still as bright as the last time I saw you alive. That is really the only thing that looked like you in these pictures. I hurts me that other people saw you like this. It hurts that someone found you like this.
Yes these picture haunt me. Now I see them in my head and at night when I wake up. But I don’t regret looking at them. I know some people won’t and don’t understand why I did. I just can’t believe this happened to you.
I try to remember that I will see your bright blue eyes again. But somehow that thought is not comforting to me right now. Maybe someday it will be.
I love you Haddie. I am sorry.