In preparing for Christian’s birthday, I’ve tried hard to make it a positive experience. I want his birthday to be something that makes the world a better place, even if only briefly – because a year ago today, my world was destroyed. Something good should come out of that.
Last night I went to bed around 6pm. Yes, I was tired, but also I wanted to avoid thinking about today. In a lot of ways I still want to avoid it. While I planned Doubleplusgood Day I was excited – it’s a great way to commemorate Christian and to help me focus outward instead of just pitying myself. But today . . . today I want to curl up in a hole and be left alone. I want to shout that there’s nothing to celebrate because my son died, he’s gone, I haven’t gotten to see him learn to crawl or to wash him down after feeding him pureed carrots or to even hold him more than that one time. These are things I hoped Doubleplusgood Day would overcome, and I would feel so compassionate and charitable toward others that today didn’t hurt.
Taking a step back from my immediate emotions, though, I can see how much my grief has changed over the past year. I feel so much more normal than I could have dared hope! To a large extent, Christian’s death is a part of my life I’ve become accustomed to, and I go about my days in the regular sort of happy-frustrated-lonely-overwhelmed mix of a stay-at-home mom. I no longer experience the agonizing despair of postpartum + grief, my moments of sadness are fewer and further between, and those moments don’t last long. So I cross my fingers that although today might be filled with sad moments or loss and painful memories of last year, there will also be some service, some kind words from friends and family, some happiness. And cookies.