This time last year (6/6/17), I was conducting an audit for work, rubbing my slightly protruding belly, and excited about whether we’d be able to see the sex of our babies at our ultrasound & testing appointment at the Antenatal Testing Unit later that afternoon. I also was slightly concerned because of some leaking I had noticed but I was still hopeful that things were ok with my little ones…
A year later, life has changed up so much. Obviously things were not ok with our daughters. We’re now angel parents, I am on a completely different career path and trying to walk more in my purpose, we have a 9-almost-10-week old son who came to us in such a divine way,… so much has changed and we have been challenged in ways I never imagined. I have often taken a step outside of myself and said, “Is this my life?… This can’t be my life…?” Denial (as a stage of grief & loss) is a beast. It doesn’t mean I am literally denying this horrible thing happened; it just means that sometimes I’m in disbelief that it occurred. I can’t believe a year has passed and their birthday is tomorrow (June 7th).
So… what am I gonna do for their Angel-versary? How should I be feeling right now since it’s been a year? How should I be feeling since I now have a living child to raise? Does this mean I forget them? Does this mean I focus less on that experience and more on our son? Does this mean I resort to answering, “yes” to the question, “is this your first?” People are going to tell you all kinds of things about what you should and shouldn’t be doing, how you should and shouldn’t respond or how they may have responded. I just want to say that your path is YOURS! There is no right or wrong way to handle this (IMO). There’s no timeline on grief! Of course, be mindful of how you’re affected and seek appropriate support (e.g. therapy, psychiatry, support groups, etc.) where needed but know that no one else has walked in your particular shoes so they can’t speak on what you should or shouldn’t be feeling.
I haven’t decided officially what I’m going to do tomorrow in honor of my girls. Today is Wednesday and I have the normal ritual I do every Wednesday which includes lighting candles but other than that, I haven’t fully figured it out. Some beautiful ideas I’ve heard include: doing a lantern release, releasing balloons or butterflies, candles, a trip, scattering ashes, pouring libations, etc. What I do know is that I simultaneously feel joy about my living child AND sadness about the babies lost. I do know that I will NOT forget them and I will NEVER answer the question of, “is this your first?” with a “yes” because he is not my first. He’s my first living child but not my first.
It’s crazy because I can’t believe it’s been a year already. In some ways it feels like yesterday and I can vividly remember the events of 6/6/17 and 6/7/17. Things before and after those days are a bit blurry but those two days are etched in my memory probably forever. It may be odd to celebrate for some but for me, it’s more of a remembering of their short lives and how they influenced mine. I think that’s an important thing for angel parents to do. Sure, the sadness may come too but it’s important to recognize and remember the impact your angel baby’s life had on yours as well as how you may want to allow that experience to influence your life. It’s not necessarily the anniversary of their death that I’m focusing on: it’s the anniversary of the day their light shined the brightest and changed every…single…thing. My Aviva and my Jora, I love you so much.
Sending love & light out to all the angel parents out there approaching, enduring, just passing an angelversary <3 <3.