Month 11 contained Christmas and New Year’s. Both holidays I just wasn’t into this year, for one obvious reason. The absence of Asher was glaringly obvious. It helped me get through each day to just pretend that everything was normal and privately have my breakdown at home. We spent Christmas day at my in-laws. I remember being ready to leave by mid-afternoon because I was tired of just pretending everything was fine. I wanted to go and unravel in the privacy of my own home. I wanted to cry over the fact that my son wasn’t there for his first Christmas. I wanted to be alone in my grief and devastation over the loss of my son. As soon as we got home that evening, that’s exactly what I did. New Year’s came and went. I, surprisingly, stayed up until midnight and then went to bed.
Asher was still included on Christmas and yes we are wearing adult onesies. 🙂
We are one month away from Asher’s first birthday. One year from the moment we said hello and goodbye to him. To say that I have anxiety about his first birthday is an understatement. I am terrified of it. How can it be a year without my son? How have I managed to function for this long with a piece of my heart missing? One year is a long time. For most parents, the first birthday is a huge event. It’s a day where they freak out and try to make everything perfect for their child, who will never actually remember the event but that is beside the point. So much thought goes into what they will wear that day, what kind of cake their child will have, the theme of the party, the invites, the guests, etc. With the creation of Pinterest the expectations for these events has only increased over the years. It is a huge undertaking and never a small affair. But, I won’t get to do any of that. I won’t get to see Asher in a cute little outfit with suspenders and a bow tie. (I always imagined he would be such a fancy little man.) I won’t get to pick out the cake he would manhandle and destroy (most likely chocolate because, well, it’s chocolate). I’ll never get those moments with him and it absolutely shatters my heart to think about it. Instead, the month before his first birthday, I am anxious about what we will do to commemorate the day. I already took off of work that day because I expect to not be able to put on the “functioning human” façade that day. How do we celebrate him and his short life without him here? I have no idea. I want to do something to mark the day, like possibly make him a cake, but I have no definite plans for what to do. I’m sure that is probably for the best. The thought of inviting people over for some sort of celebration and losing it in front of them also gives me anxiety. Since losing Asher, crying in public has become commonplace (see exhibit A while on a ghost tour last weekend), but if I can avoid putting myself in situations where others will see my cry, I try to.
To help us get through his first birthday, I have a favor to ask. I’ve seen so many ways that loss families have asked others to remember their child on their birthday. My favorite one is the random act of kindness. It puts something good out in the world and helps share our little one with others, which is all we loss parents want. So, if you feel so inclined, I am asking you to do a Random Act of Kindness in memory of Asher. It could be anything you want! I would love if you would print out this little blurb (or just hand write it on a piece of paper) and leave it for the receipient of your RAOK. Once you do the RAOK, please post something to social media with the hashtag #HeyAsherRay and #happybirthdayAsherRay. It doesn’t have to be just on his birthday, but any time throughout the month of February. It would mean so much to us to know Asher is being remembered. We know this is going to be a rough and sad day for us, but seeing good being done in his memory will make the time a little bit easier.