As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep, but unable I realized I am troubled by how normal life is this week before Emma's birthday. I told yesterday of the early years and the paralyzing effect they had on my ability to function, but here I am making cupcakes for Gram's birthday and purchasing mini-toiletries for the overnight my husband and I are taking, all with great ease and only six days before Emma's birthday.
"How am I doing this" I asked myself, "Am I somehow degrading Emma's memory by not attending to memories and tears with the devoted focus I used to?" This is a question I think we all ask ourselves at many points in our grieving roads. How much is too much? When is enough? What actions fall short of memorializing "properly".
What I realized is I am thrown by my ability to function and find myself yearning (in some small non-heart tearing way) for just a bit of the countdown I used to employ to save me from myself.
So I am having a countdown - starting today. It will act as yet another way for me to observe my progress and celebrate the relationship Emma and I have developed. Join me if you like! It is like that friend that you know who doesn't just celebrate her birthday on "the" day, but drags it on for a whole week! I have decided to post a tribute to Emma on each descending day, a trinket of our journey from start to present.
September 2nd - Day 6 - "Emma's First Birthday"
I sufferred over how to speak of this day. I worried over the terminology and if I was supposed to bow my head when I said, "the memory of our daughter's birth" or "the anniversary of our daughter's death". But then I got mad and said, "NO! She died, inside me on September 6th. That would be the anniversary her her death. SEPTEMBER 8TH IS HER BIRTHDAY!"
So I began planning a, well - "rememberance" was the best word I could come up with. Remember, I was only 12 months removed from handing over my beautiful creation to a nurse. I certainly could not call it a celebration, but knew I NEEDED a gathering on that day to feed my ever breaking soul.
I was mentally prepared for Saturday, September 8th, but completely unprepared for Friday September 7th. The pain and memory hit me like a lead weight. I could barely breath.
I attempted work, became a useless puddle on the floor, and returned home where I didn't leave my bed for the entirity of the day and through the night.
Finally, on Saturday morning I roused and we joined our family at Emma's grave. We played her song. We spoke of her and the ways she had shown herself to us in her first year. We cried - oh how we cried! Then, we let go of balloons, each with a personal message written inside, just for her. I broke down entirely when her father let go of his red balloon last, yet it reached heaven first. It is a tradition we maintain to this day (minus the balloons - they were only for the first year). We have many traditions - I will share them with you sometime.
For today - Trust your inner voice when it says "act" and the outcome may overwhelm you.
A similar soul,
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!