The 19th of this month marked two months without Asher. To me, it feels like it was just yesterday and at the same time a lifetime ago, if that makes sense. I woke up feeling okay, not realizing how emotional I would be all day. Driving into work, I started crying listening to my playlist for him. I found myself sitting in my cubicle at work and crying at various points throughout the day. I didn’t think I would be as emotional as I was considering I had to work and go through the motions of being a normal, functioning human being. But it hit me hard and I was struggling. He knew it too. While I was at work, I checked my email and saw a link to the Mother’s Day photo shoot I was a part of two weeks ago. It was wonderful to see the photos I had taken in memory of him with his items. Asher knew I was struggling and needed to feel his presence that day. It made a huge difference.
That night Hubby and I sat in his room and lit the candle we have for him, as we said we would do every month for the first year without him. We were also able to order the teddy bears that we had been talking to the hospital about donating. It felt good to do something in memory of him, to give something to other families experiencing a similar loss and letting others know about Asher at the same time. I have found that sharing him with others makes me feel better, that he won’t be forgotten. I know how much the teddy bear I received in the hospital has meant to me, so I hope our donation will help others through their grief journey. It helps to leave the hospital with something in your arms when you are leaving without your baby.
The rest of the week presented its moments of triggers and challenges for me. Friday night, Hubby and I went to dinner and of course a family with four children were in my eyesight. The youngest was a baby, about 4 months old. I was fine until the father walked in. He was handed his infant daughter upon arrival. He held her smiling and talking to her. I lost it in the middle of the restaurant. My heart just broke. How badly I wanted to see my husband do that with our son. To hold him, and be so happy to see his child after a day of work. We will never get those moments with Asher. Later, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a friend had her healthy baby boy. As happy as I am for her, that she had a healthy child after a high risk pregnancy, it again was a reminder of what we lost. We were pregnant at the same time and both expecting boys within a month of each other. I had a complication free pregnancy, yet my son isn’t here and we have no medical reason for it.
I checked the mail on Saturday and there was a card in there from friends. It was a long note letting us know that they are still praying/thinking of us and Asher every day. It went on to share that they are expecting their second child in November. They wanted us to know but to not feel blind-sighted or like we had to fake a smile when they told us their happy news. They wanted to give us time to process it and let us know there was no rush for us to contact them. They wanted to tell us before it was social media official, so we were prepared. They said if we want to “unfollow” them, that is fine, they understand and will not judge us with whatever we need to do. They know that our grief and loss is still fresh and will be for years to come. It ended saying that they love us and will continue to share in any sadness or joy we experience in our lives. They couldn’t have told us in a better way. It was written perfectly. They really have shared in the loss of Asher with us, as so many people have. Yes, it is really hard to hear happy news involving pregnancy and child birth when our history regarding both has ended horribly. It was nice to be able to read this information and digest it before responding. I so appreciate them giving us that consideration and that moment to process and be sad for ourselves before sharing in their happiness.
This weekend we also got to celebrate our “niece’s” first birthday (she is our friends’ daughter but they are family to us). My friend told us we did not have to feel obligated to come and that she didn’t want us to be put in an uncomfortable position. She wanted us to be okay. But we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Our niece and her big sister mean so very much to Hubby and I. They are the first newborns that Hubby ever held and they hold a very special place in our hearts. It was such a wonderful time spent with their family celebrating this sweet little girl. I was fine the entire time until we sang “Happy Birthday”. Watching her sitting there with family around celebrating her first year of life, brought tears to my eyes. I can’t help but think of Asher at moments like that. I think of how much I would’ve wanted to have that moment with our son and family, but it will never be. We will never get to celebrate his first year of life because he was taken so soon from us.
Grief is a journey. I still cry every day. Often times it is just tears springing to my eyes at some trigger. Sometimes it is still full blown breakdowns at the fact that we lost our son and our whole future has been altered because of it. It can be overwhelming. The happy moments of others can be difficult reminders of the sadness we feel for our own loss. We are so happy for our friends and family when good things happen to them and we want to share in that happiness. But those moments are tinged with sadness for us at our own loss. It is possible to be happy for someone and sad for yourself at the same time. Please know that we aren’t just “putting on a happy face”, we are actually happy for you. We will always share in the happy moments and milestones of our family and friends, regardless of the sadness we feel for ourselves.