Monday, April 11, 2011

The Day is Soon Approaching...

actually several milestone days are soon approaching. the first of them being may 1st, the start of may, the month in which my baby boy was born. the week after that {may 8th} is mother's day. and then 3 weeks after that {may 30th} will be Julius' first birthday. that day i know will be the most intense of them all. a day that should have been spent celebrating his happy life and all that he's accomplished during the year, will be spent feeling the weight of his absence.

to say that i dread the start of may is an understatement. thinking about it too long almost causes me to begin hyperventilating. i find myself struggling to breathe. and so up until now, i've been avoiding the topic all together. i've been living in denial. thinking that if i just pretend it isn't there, it won't be. i've learned that things don't exactly work that way. so at my appointment this weekend with my counselor, she brought it up and asked what my plans were, and i immediately shutdown. apparently she had not gotten the memo about my plans to just ignore the entire month.

well, in fact, no she had not gotten the memo, and even if she had gotten the memo, i'm convinced that she would have ripped it up and thrown it in the trash. unfortunately for me {at that moment}, she cared too much about me to allow me to continue to live in denial. so she gently forced me to begin to think about my plans for that day. we talked about it, and some of the things that i could do. her feelings were that if i have a plan in place for that day, it would not be as scary {and me being the planner that i am, i know she is right}. so in a desperate attempt to try and face this huge milestone day head on, i created an event on FB asking my dear friends to help me remember my precious Juju. it was hard to even type it up and post it, but i felt like i needed to. i needed to acknowledge that may 30th is coming. and i know i will need the exra prayers and support.

i do plan to do some of the typical things that i do to remember and honor him on that day: balloon release, writing him a letter, spending extra time with him reflecting on all of our time together. but i am really at a loss for things D and i could do together as a family. it's just so hard planning this day without him. and i need some help from my BLMs. if you have already experienced a milestone birthday without your little one, what are some of the things you did/do on that special day to honor/remember them?


Deanna said...

I feel like River's birthday should still be a celebration, even if he isn't here physically to enjoy it. Have a cake, I pondered about this, wondering if it would just be harder... and it was, but it was also peaceful knowing that he got cake on his birthday.

On the day of his birthday, we went out to eat as a family and Ben and I bought a gift card to the restaurant we were at, and gave it to the hostess to give to the next party that paid. Something nice for someone, in his memory since we didn't get to buy him gifts. We bought a children's book for the library. Then, of course we planned River's Rally around his birthday.

These are ideas we did last year, we are less than 3 weeks away from his 2nd birthday, and we will likely do many of the same things. We will definitely be celebrating Juju's birthday with you!

Mary said...

Oh I so know that feeling. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. For Gage's first birthday, I baked him a cake and decorated it. I bought him a card and wrote something in it just for him. We put the cake, his card and his urn on the kitchen table and sang Happy Birthday. Or tried to sing it through the tears. We also donated the money we would have spent on presents to the RM House. Last year we did a day of good deeds. There are so many things you could do. Of course, none of them will be what you wanted to be doing. Let me know how I can help you. I will need your help getting through July...which will be two years without Gage. I just wish we had our boys back.

Caroline said...

I haven't experienced that day yet. But I'm already trying to plan what I want to do. We're going to do a balloon release like you mentioned and possible a butterfly release as well, and I plan to get a little cake and maybe have written "Happy First Birthday in Heaven." We are just going to have close family and friends over that day and I plan to read this poem (below) which is what I read at his little service after he died. Other than that I just want it to be as happy of a day as possible as it's a day to celebrate our son and the life he did have, as shrot as it was. Oh and my sweet photographer who took my maternity pictures is coming to take pictures at the balloon release as well. It may be hard, but I still want to document his first birthday.

I think of you often
and make no outward show,
But what it means to lose you,
no one will ever know
You wished no one farewell,
not even said good-bye,
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.
You are not forgotten
nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memories last,
I will remember thee.
To some you may be forgotten,
to others a part of the past,
But to me who loved you dearly,
your memories will always last.
Nothing can be more beautiful
than the memories I have of you.
To me, you were someone special,
God must have thought so too!
If tears could build a staircase
and memories a lane,
I would walk all the way to Heaven,
and bring you back again.

Tiffany said...

Dont forget International Babylost Mothers Day. Had this been in place before I had my rainbows I would have observed it for sure. Its nice to be recognized as a mother even when we can only hold our children in our hearts. sending you love and peace my friend.


Good luck in May, having just experienced my baby's 1st birthday last week I will say that the build up to the day was MUCH, MUCH, MUCH harder than the actual day was.

Good luck throughout may, sounds like it will be emotional rollercoster :(

Susan said...

For what should have been Catherine's 4th birthday, about 10 weeks after she died, both sets of grandparents and my closest friend plus her 4 year old daughter (who was Catherine's best friend) all pitched down the cemetry with flowers. We released some pink balloons. I have to say, it was totally the wrong thing to do. It was so heart-breaking - her little friend waving goodbye to her in the sky - my FIL crying - my husband was distraught and went back and hid under the duvet all day. It was the first time nearly everyone there (except me and my husband) had visisted the grave since the burial. Not recommended.

It's our first anniversary on Wed. I'm planning to go to work and just keep it all as normal and unmarked as possible. I'll let you know if that is any easier.

Becky said...

I am only 3 months out so I have a ways to go till Liam's birthday but I will definitely be praying and thinking about and your family as the times draws closer to his birthday

Angie said...

I'm also in denial that August even exists anymore. Luckily though, I get to sit on the sidelines for a few months and take notes from some pretty amazing women, like yourself, who are celebrating their's babies birthdays without them. But I've thought a lot about Aiden's first birthday. I know I want to have a party for him, with balloons and cake and our friends and family with us. I think we'll have it at the cemetery. I've seen some really nice parties there with other families celebrating their babies birthdays.

I just want you to know how often I think about you and Juju. I know May is going to be a difficult month, but you're not going through it alone. I'm always here for you. xo

Tiffany said...

I have been thinking about you a lot the last few days. I know tomorrow will be a hard day also- I will be sending lots of peaceful thoughts your way! Lean on us in the next few months as things start to get hard. We understand. I agree with Ashley in that, I thought the build-up was much harder than the actual day. I don't think there is a way to avoid it but Hopefully that day will be gentle to you.
On Ellie's birthday, we planned a huge party. We made blankets for the children's hospital and did a food drive. It was so great to see that even though our birthday girl wasn't there, her birthday mattered. Her life mattered. I know a big party isn't for everyone. We had some quiet time at her grave side and sent her a balloon. We ate cake and lit a birthday candle there for her too. I looked at the pictures from her BIRTHday. Just listen to what your heart tells you. Do whatever makes you happy, and that will make your sweet little boy happy too.

Tabatha said...

Oh sweet friend.. my heart is breaking for you over and over. The 'experience' of Savanna's first birthday is still so fresh with me. You know of the balloon release we did.. and I think it is a wonderful idea to do the event to get others involved.. For us, we had a small little get together the Saturday before her birthday with close friends and family. I realize now that, for us, that was a bad idea. J and I felt like two fishes in a fish bowl.. all eyes on us.. pressure on us. Everyone looking to us to make the next move. The best thing was on her birthday it was just J and I. We went to her spot, brought her flowers, releasead balloons and ladybugs and just sat with her. Just the three of us. (it was the first time J and I were alone with her) And then that night we went to dinner. Just him and I.. and we decided that at every birthday, whether one was traveling or whatever was happening, we would go to dinner on her birthday. It's something we would have done if she were here... so it's something we can still do even though she's not. And somehow we felt close to her. I realized how special, and precious that day is.. it's a day for J and I. And no one else.. sure others are grieving and I respect that.. but at the end of the day, it our baby's we no longer have to hold.

I remember being in denial about her birthday. and then my MIL kept bringing it up.. the planning and it all slapped me in the face. (she didn't get the memo either!) they all tried to make this celebration of her life into something it wasn't. Just do what is most comfy for D and you... and only you two.. everyone else can shove off and get over themselves.. it's about you two and Julius.. It's about your family. Do what feels right, well as 'right' can be. (nothing, i know, feels right) Just know i will be thinking of you friend. and I'm just an email away xoxo

PS sorry for the novel.. i got a little carried away :)

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