So...it's officially April, which means Chase's 1st birthday is looming. It also means that my anxiety has set in. It's so hard to believe it has been a year since Chase was born (& died). In fact, when I think about what month it is, my mind still automatically goes right back to April...of 2011. So, I guess it's that much harder to realize it's now a year later. My heart is still broken and the pain is still there. Has it gotten easier? Yes. Will I ever be "better" or "over it?" No! There hasn't been a day that's passed that I haven't thought about and longed for my sweet Chase. Actually, it's many times a day that I think about him and how much I miss him. So many things remind me of him - things I did/ate/places I went/what I watched when I was pregnant with him, then there's any mention of a pregnancy or baby - and believe me, those reminders are everywhere!
I think by now, everyone probably thinks that we're all better and have moved on. I guess if it were me before all of this happened, so would I. I was very upset when my grandma and grandpa passed away in a span of 7 months during my college years. However, a year later, I was doing much better. I no longer cried when I thought about it and I had come to accept it. But this is so different. After all, grandparents (sadly) are supposed to die. Babies are not. I feel like I am still new to grieving for my sweet baby boy. My pain is still so raw and it still feels like a part of me is gone....because it is. I am beginning to realize that I will feel this pain and emptiness for the rest of my Earthly life. Until I am made new and whole again in Heaven, my heart will ache for my son. And I'm ok with that. The pain and hurt I feel makes me remember him and know that he was real.
Not that I will ever forget him, but sometimes I feel like January - April of 2011 were just a big dream that I dreamt and that none of it was real. Was I really ever pregnant? Did I really feel those sweet first kicks just days before Chase was born? Did I have an emergency surgery, then give birth the next day? Did I hold my dead son and touch his cold, lifeless body? Did we have a funeral and bury my sweet baby? Did I really survive all of this?
In regards to Chase's 1st birthday, I think we are just going to go to the cemetery, maybe light a candle on a cupcake and sing Happy Birthday to him, then release sky lanterns after we leave. Who knows - maybe we'll even include dinner before. I loved the idea of the sky lanterns after seeing the movie Tangled and for some reason, it has always struck me how grief-stricken Rapunzel's parents are 18 years after having their daughter kidnapped. It's not the same as having their baby die, but their baby was still taken from them and they didn't know if she was still alive or not. I know that in another 17 years, I will still miss my Chase just as much then as I do today. In fact, perhaps even more.
I am trying to focus on each and every day so I don't let my emotions get the best of me, but I've already had a few mini-meltdowns over Chase's birthday. I hope I am able to feel him near me that day and I hope I am able to feel some peace. I love you, sweet boy and I miss you with all of my heart.