Tuesday, November 20, 2012

His first birthday

Well it came and it went...  one of the days I was dreading the most.  Declan's birthday.  I was dreading the day probably for obvious reasons, but also because it meant that we were down to the last few months of our 'first year'... I feel like people are forgiving of grief or expect grief during that first year after losing a loved one, but after that year, people start to expect you to move on and to be ok.  I know I have talked about time moving so fast for me before, but please bear with me... because this is probably the main thing I struggle with... time.  The amount of time that has passed since I last saw my baby increases every day... the distance between the time in our life when we were 'normal' to whatever we are now continues to grow daily.... Soon Declan's death won't just be 'so many months ago', it will be '1 year and so many months ago'.  I was dreading his birthday because it put a time table in place for the end of our first year.  Starting on Sunday we only have 12 weeks and 4 days (2 days now) of time left until it's February 14th, 2013.... until we mark the one year 'anniversary' of his passing. That sucks.  It just stinks so bad and I still randomly think that somehow this will change, that this isn't how his story is going to end... I don't know what I am hoping for.  I do know, but I also know there is no possible way of what I want actually happening.... Anyway, how did the day go?  How did we manage to keep the sorrow from overwhelming us? We did the only thing we knew how to do... threw a party and asked people to join us in celebrating the life he did have... the memories we made... and the legacy he is leaving behind.   We had close to 80 people join us in remembering him and celebrating his short life.  We wrote messages to Declan on floating lanterns and then sent them off at his gravesite.  Afterwards, we had a 'celebration of life' gathering... soup, cake, a hot chocolate bar, appetizers and drinks... and we hugged and we cried and Nate and I marveled at the friends and family that came to our gathering to support us.  We both felt humbled and honored to have so many people there.  It was the perfect way to celebrate his birthday!

Here is some of the group sending off their lantern.

You can see the trail of lanterns as they started their journey... I think we had about 10 or 11 that made it up.  Several had to be 'stomped' out when they caught on fire. 

On Sunday, his actual birthday we went down to my parents lake house and spent the day surround by my family.  Sometimes there is no greater 'therapy' for our pain than just being surrounded by prayers, love and laughter.   I spent some time on the beach (It wasn't freezing, actually it was really nice out) and decided to start writing his name in the sand. I don't know why...  I think in all, I wrote his name about 6 times... in different styles and in different places.  It just felt good to see his name spelled out.  Knowing that it should have been spelled out on a birthday cake instead... When we returned home, the kids, Nate and myself watched his video tribute from the funeral.  Noah, Nate and myself cried harder than we had in a long time.  CoCo Bean didn't know what to think... She just kind of looked at us and kept giving us hugs and would say "I miss Declan." We snuggled together and held each other close as we watched his sweet smile looking back at us.  When it was over I said, 'lets do a group hug guys', we wrapped our arms around each other and from in the middle of the circle Noah says, "we will never have a complete group hug"  So true big guy...  

Happy Birthday dear Declan! You have no idea how much I wish this day had been different... 


  1. The whole time table thing....I totally get it. And people's expectations...right on. ((hugs)) Here's to our sons....who we will see again some day. What a glorious day that will be!

    1. It will be an amazing day!! Thanks Angie! Hugs to you as well. I need to get myself back to grief share because I know the holidays will be tough! It would be good to see you guys again and rely on our group to help us through it.