Minutes. Everything I remember about the day that Dorothy died can be measured in minutes. There were the minutes spent searching for a heartbeat that wasn’t there. The minutes spent delivering a baby that came so silently. The minutes we were together as a family of three. And when it was all over, there was the feeling that I wouldn’t survive for a single minute without my baby.
I’ve survived over 1,000,000 minutes without my daughter.
Those minutes have been spent loving her, missing her, and wishing for just one more minute with her. What would I do if I could just have one more minute of time with her here on Earth?
My heart hungers for one more minute with my baby and my imagination devours this notion of extra time. What would I say? How would I act? Would my one more minute be profound? Would every word I spoke be laced with incredible meaning and spectacular depth? Would my every movement be significant and purposeful? Would I make sure not to waste a single second?
I would probably spend that one minute simply holding her.
It would be a minute spent breathing in her realness, feeling her existence, and gazing upon her complete beauty. Instead of saying out loud the millions of things I wish I could tell her, I would simply pull her in close and whisper, “I love you.” That minute would be full of us and full of our love but it could never fill me up.
The truth is, one more minute would not be enough.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I know that my craving for her existence could never be satisfied with one measly tick of the clock. That one minute could never make up for the 1,000,000 minutes and counting I’ve spent without her and the millions of minutes I have ahead of me.
One minute is not enough, but I would take it because that’s what it’s like when your child dies. Nothing is ever enough, but you take everything you can get. Even if it’s the fantasy of one more minute.
This piece was inspired by the One More Minute Campaign by Child Bereavement UK.
Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash