Wednesday was the two year anniversary of Theo's death. It was a peaceful day. Both of us took off work and spent the day together.
It's strange, I feel more sad today, and did yesterday as well, than I did on Wednesday. This entire journey has been and continues to be full of unexpected turns, ups and downs, twists and changes. You just never know how you might feel.
Certainly, this anniversary was nowhere near as difficult or heavy or painful as the last--the first. But that is ok. I felt bad for a little bit that I was not more upset. But I also know that Theo would want me to be ok.
Everyone is different in how they navigate the journey of grief and loss. For some people the second anniversary can be even worse than the first. I can tell you that this Christmas was terrible for me. I was not expecting it to be so terrible, so it was much worse than I thought it would be. I don't know. I guess I thought that it could not be anywhere near as bad as last Christmas--2006--our first without him. Christmas 2005 was also difficult--he was here with us, but so sick. His first Christmas, his last Christmas. Then 2006 brought the first without him. I think I thought--or didn't think at all maybe--that 2007 would not be so hard. But it was. So, I was maybe a little more mentally prepared for this second anniversary of his death.
Last year on February 20, I stayed home most of the day and evening. Just thinking about Theo, looking at his pictures. I relived a lot of the feelings and memories of the day he died. What it was to hold my baby and watch him take his last breaths, to bathe his body, dress him, wrap him in blankets. To give his body to strangers to take to the funeral home. I did not need to relive those memories this year. Another thing is that once the first year has passed, you no longer are able to say, "last year at this time we....." There was no watching the clock this year. That is a good thing in some ways and a very sad thing in others. Somehow in that first year, the ability to say, "this time last year.." feels like a connection that still exists. But with the passing of that first year, it fades into the past.
What does not change is that we will never see our sweet boy grow up. We will spend the rest of our lives without knowing what he would have grown up to be. Never knowing what games he would like to have played, what his favorite foods would have been, what would have made him laugh, what he would have liked or hated about school. We will never meet his friends, his lovers, his spouse, children he may have had. Never see him play sports or a musical instrument, see the first picture he would have drawn, never see him run or jump or drive. Go to prom, graduate, go to college, get a job, get in trouble, get out of it. None of that will ever, ever change. And most days, those things are not on my mind. Theo is always in my heart and if not on my mind, very close to it. I don't think of him every minute--and that is ok. I can still remember what it felt like the first time I realized I had not been thinking of him. I forgot! It was a horrible feeling. I thought it made me a bad mother. How could I forget? But I have never forgotten. All the thoughts and memories and love are always there. Anytime I want to I can open up the boxes which hold the precious memories of him--his scent, every little fold of skin, his laugh, his facial expressions, the shape of his body--his feet, his toes, his long fingers, the shape of his head--before and after surgeries. I can still feel the little indentation at his temple, where my lips fit just right--his kissing spot. I have the same spot at my temples. All of the memories of hospital time, nights up with him after he came home, peaceful times holding him, scary times, sad times. Every moment is stored away. It takes a lot out of me to open those boxes--but I know where they are and what is in each one. Sometimes I lay in bed before I sleep and go through some of the sweet ones. All of it is there.
No matter how many years pass, they will all be there.
I kept his candle lit the whole day when were home. My good friend Jessica sent me a beautiful bunch of white orchids, Meg and Erich and the boys (Jamie's sister and husband) sent us a pretty bunch of springtime flowers too--with a dragonfly in them. It's so good to know other people remember him. We visited the Angel of Hope statue at Hollywood cemetery and released balloons to mark the day. We visited the graves of other children and babies that are close by and left bunches of daisies. We went out for a lovely dinner at Bacchus where we were married. We spent the day missing our son together. Just like every day. But that day was special. It marked another year without him. But the day was peaceful. And I know that Theo's spirit was with us. Just like every day. But this day was special, different, because it marked another year without him here with us. The second year is certainly full of hard, heartbreaking moments. Sometimes made more difficult because you are not necessarily expecting them.
The picture above is a still photo taken from Theo's memorial DVD. Jamie has posted it on YouTube. Because YouTube has a 10 minute time limit on videos, we had to do 2 videos. The first one is 9:14 and has the first 2 songs, and goes up to age 3 months, to the weekend before Theo got sick. The second is 2:29 and is the last song of the tribute and includes photos of after surgeries and after we came home from the hospital.
Please feel free to watch. He is beautiful.
This is the link to Part 1:
And Part 2: