Since Alexander died, December has been a tough month for me. This year it will be especially hard because this December 20, it will be 10 years.
Ten years of memories not made together.
Ten years of missed milestones: first day of school, losing a first tooth, learning to tie shoes, riding a bike…so many things we won’t get to do.
Ten years to think about what kind of kid he would be now and the man he would become later in life.
Ten years of missing my sweet boy every single day.
Over the years, there have been genuine moments of happiness but the grief is ever present. This week the grief really seems to be weighing down on me.
I feel like a sobbing mess. After I dropped Daniel off at school today, I went for my usual Monday morning walk. Thinking about Alexander’s upcoming birthday and what I wanted to do to celebrate the day. The people at the mall must have thought I was crazy because I couldn’t stopped sobbing. The grief is just so overwhelming these days.
I called a company’s customer service department today because I needed to get a wheel replacement for our bike trailer. The sticker that had the model number on it fell off the trailer and I had to email photos of the trailer to the customer service rep. She got back to me promptly with the number and I thanked her. A little while later I got the following email from her:
Thank you. I appreciate the kind words and glad to help you out. I checked out the site. I am sadden and inspired to hear about this. I have only heard of SIDS. I can not imagine. I love that the spirit is being kept alive by the race. Please continue to be an inspiration to all.
Not only had she taken the time to look at our run website, but she also took the time to send me, a complete stranger, a note to express her sympathy. I wish I was still blissfully ignorant of SUDC but now that it’s a part of my life, I’m glad I was able to increase awareness today.
Some days I feel so overwhelmed and busy that I forget to take time for myself. For the remainder of this month, I intend to take to time each day just for me in honor of my sweet boy, Alexander. I think a more relaxed mom will be a better mom for Daniel.
I’ve decided to participate in the Capture Your Grief Project 2015.
Day 1 was sunrise. I didn’t have a good start to the project and missed the sunrise by about 10 minutes. I still took a few moments to sit quietly alone outside before starting with the busyness of the day.
Every time I checked Facebook for the past few weeks, someone was posting about another event happening on May 3. Ordinarily, they’d be events I want to attend but not on Alexander’s birthday. I wished today could have been about the frenzy of planning for a birthday party. Instead, it was another intense day of missing my boy.
A few friends did send me a text or email to acknowledge Alexander’s birthday. I know everyone gets busy and I’m ever grateful for those who still remember.
We had a quiet family day. After picking up supplies at one of the local nurseries, we spent the day gardening (planting flowers, putting down fresh mulch, etc.).
Later in the day, we visited Alexander’s grave and released 8 balloons (7 in honor of his birthday and an additional one just because). Though I talk to Daniel about Alexander, he doesn’t yet understand why we go to the cemetery and on these especially tough days, I’m happy for Daniel’s innocence.
Preparing to release a balloon in Alexander’s memory
Daniel watching the balloons.
The last of 8 balloons released for Alexander.
I was doing ok this week until I started looking at some photos of Alexander last night. We have photos of Alexander all around the house which I see everyday so was very surprised at how suddenly the sadness overtook me. I guess after Daniel being so sick early in the week and today being the anniversary of Alexander’s passing, it was just too much for me. As I said to a friend today who is also grieving the loss of a loved one: The grief does overwhelm you when you least expect it. I’m not sure that ever goes away. You just learn to let your happiness and grief coexist because they’re both now a part of your life.
Poor Daniel was sitting next to me on the couch while I was looking at the photos and didn’t know what was wrong. Even though I talk to Daniel about his brother, he doesn’t understand just yet. Soon, I will have to figure out how to tell him about what happened to Alexander.
Alexander, December 2008
The day went ok. Daniel and I did some errands this morning. After he took his nap, we planned to go to the cemetery. Sadly, the cemetery visit didn’t happen. When we arrived, the gate was already locked. We planned to decorate the little tree at our family plot and release balloons. It won’t be the anniversary but we’ll do it tomorrow. We took Daniel to buy books and then out to an early dinner. It was a nice quiet day for our family.
I normally don’t post about Alexander’s birthday or anniversary on Facebook but felt the need to do so today. The comments from friends really helped to make this difficult day just a little lighter.