I have been thinking..rather dreading... ever since summer started about Cole's birthday in a few weeks. Maybe some day it will feel like a celebration, but now it doesn't. I thought that when I got pregnant again, his birthday would be easier - but I actually had a SIGNIFICANTLY harder time dealing with his birthday than I did most of the days right after he actually passed away. It was hard. As in gut wretching, sitting on my kitchen floor bawling, could barely open my eyes to even find the kleenex, ugly, ugly, UGLY cry. It was bad. And I was trying to take care of our, at the time, two-year-old who thank goodness didn't totally get what was going on. It was a serious mental breakdown and I'm afraid that I won't be able to handle that again.
Ever since last September 17th, I have really thought about what I need to do differently for myself this year. (1) I am taking the day off of work. I'm calling it a personal/mental health day and I'm going to do something that doesn't involve having to peel me off of the kitchen floor this year. (2) My goal is to grieve, but maybe spend a little time celebrating his existence and maybe do something that will replace my overwhelming grief with something that will make me smile - make Cole smile in Heaven.
While I know I'm going to do things differently, it has still sent me into a tailspin of fret. Am I going to be okay this year? Am I going to be able to parent my three-year-old and one-year-olds? Will this get easier? And that question keeps resonating in my mind...will it get easier?
It seems, logically, that as time passes, it SHOULD get easier. But will it? Does it ever get easier to "celebrate" a birthday for a baby you never got to hear laugh, or never got to watch blow out his candles, or never nursed while rocking him in your arms? All the "nevers" are the things that I get hung up on, especially on his birthday. Sometimes it's hard to focus on all the wonderful things we DID get to do, that so many others DON'T get to do. We were able to hold him, name him, get footprints and handprints of him, dress him, photograph him, sing to him and pray for him, send out birth announcements for him, cremate him, and take him home with us. And for that, I try really hard to be grateful.
I know we're blessed. Infinitely. So many husbands and wives pray for one healthy baby and we have three. But someone said it best when they said to me, "If you lost your mom, would you not grieve simply because your dad was still alive?" My other children do not, can not, ever replace Cole and that is why it's so hard.
So, this year I'm praying for peace. I'm praying for survival. I'm praying that my husband does not have to pick me up off the floor and tell me to be present in my other kids' lives. And mostly, I'm praying that Cole looks down on us and feels as honored that we are his parents, as we are that he is our son.