CLICK HERE to Light a Candle for Gracie and Any Other Soul in Need
Light as many as you would like - as often as you would like.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Years

‘How’d you do with the birthday?’  So many times I wish people would be more direct with their curiosity or questions about Gracie, and baby loss in general, but I’m not sure that today was one of those days.  And then there is the question of whether or not this person really wanted to know how I did with Gracie’s birthday, or if she simply wanted to say something to acknowledge the day and she just didn’t know what else to say.  Regardless, I gave my standard answer of ‘Eh – okay.’ 

But how did I really do with Gracie’s second birthday / angelversary?  Okay.  Fine.  Not fine.  I don’t  really know, I guess.  I did better with her actual birthday than I did with the day before her birthday.  August 1st is technically the day that she was born, but in my mind it is really just a continuation of July 31st, which is the day Gracie died, the day that her death was confirmed and the day that I labored for 9 hours (out of 11.5 total hours).  If my labor had been induced 2.5 hours earlier than it was, it’s probable that she would have been born on the 31st instead of things dragging over into a completely new day and month. So, for me it’s more about the 31st than it is the 1st.       

Regardless of which day we’re talking about, I can say that there was no meltdown, no flood of tears and no drinking to drown my sorrows…so it wasn’t that bad.  There was no birthday cake, no large family dinner, no large balloon release, no gifts or flowers left at her grave site by friends or family…so it wasn’t really that great, either.  Most notably, there was no two-year-old Gracie.  All of that was replaced with a morning at the flea market, a family nap and processing homemade baby food on Sunday and a half-day of work, an afternoon thunderstorms with torrential downpours and hail, dropping off a few more things for the memory boxes that Debbie and I donated, and an abbreviated and lonely visit to the cemetery on Monday.  We took a small bouquet of flowers and released four balloons, but didn’t stay long at the cemetery since there wasn’t much break in the thunderstorms.  The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful.  I wanted to do more than this to honor her day(s).  Over the last month we actually put quite a bit of thought into what we wanted to do on Sunday and Monday.  We tossed around several ideas, but ultimately we never decided on anything that felt right.  In some way, I feel like we let Gracie down with our lack of planning and our lack of ‘festivities’.  Ironically, a year ago I had a feeling that this would happen.  (To read about Gracie’s first birthday, read here).  Hopefully next year we can get it together.   

Amongst our travels, I spent much of the 31st looking at the clock and thinking about what was happening at that moment two years earlier.  Thinking about every part of that awful day over and over and wondering how in the world two years can simultaneously pass so quickly and stand so completely still.  It’s one of those things that you try to turn off, but just can’t.  I have also spent much of the last few days thinking how different everything is.  How different it is compared to one year ago.  How different it is compared to two and three years ago.  How different so many things in our lives are now compared to what should have been…compared to what was supposed to be.   Death, new life, marriage, divorce, illness, heartache, upheaval…none of it playing out the ‘right’ way.  Oh, how I wish I knew what any of it meant. 

I will close with a few photos.  The top photo is the remainder of the donations for the memory boxes.  The others are from Monday’s visit to the cemetery.   Wishing you all a peaceful week (or month, since it seems that I can’t get here and write any more frequently than once a month these days!)  Loving you and missing more than anyone will ever know, baby girl!!


Jen said...

I'm glad though that people were considerate enough to acknowledge her birthday, at least! I'm sure many of non-blm friends will allow this day to pass without so much as a passing thought.

I felt a little guilt about not doing a "party" this year for Lily like we have the last 2 years. I don't know, this year I got the "do something good in her name" vibe and just wanting to be with my menfolk.

You know I love you and both of yor babies xoxo I love the last pic with Jenna and Jeff!

Dawn Brown said...

Big hugs to you and Jeff while passing Gracie's second year. I don't think we ever feel we can do enough on our baby's angelversary. Know in your heart that at the very least, you didn't do something that didn't feel right just for the sake of doing something. I think the memory boxes for the hospital are the perfect way of remembering Gracie - by giving to those who won't be able to give to themselves for quite some time. Lots of love to you both...and little Jenna. <3

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Oh, the photo of Jenna at Gracie's grave just took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Guess it really triggered thinking about Acacia's two year anniversary coming up in Sept. and Allison in my life now.

Much love to you, Gracie, Jenna and your dear husband!

lost--for--words said...

Oh Susan, I know how heartbreaking it is to not be doing all the birthday things that you should be doing with your little Gracie... Instead, we are left to try to find ways to mother our little ones from a distance, and we will always feel that gaping hole where they should be. I hate most people are so uncomfortable with the fact that our children have died... This has affected so many relationships in my life and has really changed the way I socialize. Thinking of you and Gracie always... XOXO

Holly said...

I wish you could've celebrated her birthday how it really was meant to celebrate.

Hannah Rose said...

My little girl's second birthday is coming up on March 16. She was stillborn. I still don't know what I want to do. It feels like people are forgetting already. I found your blog on faces of loss, faces of hope. I'd love to have you follow along on mine as well: