Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Remembering James

I had these grand plans months in advance of going on a hike in his honor with friends and family and just conquering some sort of mountain in symbolism of the mountain it has been in coping with his loss.

His anniversary fell on a Sunday and then other plans got thrown in the mix and I realized that I probably wasn't going to want to hike or summit anything at 32 weeks pregnant. So I cried and tried to imagine doing something....anything that felt right to mark the anniversary.

I asked for suggestions on facebook and was met with most of the usual that I had come across in my internet research. Many release balloons, lanterns, eat cake. None of those felt right to me, to us. I don't want to watch something float away all over again, even if it does contain words of love reaching higher and higher. I didn't want to bake a cake, to me cake represents celebration and I can't celebrate losing him. Maybe I can eat cake on behalf of him someday, but not this year, not yet.

 Instead we started off the week planting some seeds that hopefully with bloom into beautiful flowers. We went as a family and while Kyle chased Max around the garden department I spun the display of seeds looking at all the colors and hoping that even though it was VERY late in the season, some might still bloom. We settled on two wildflower mixes, zinnias, forget-me-nots, and a wild sunflower mix. We returned home and tilled the soil, removed the weeds, and together we planted some carefully. We threw the wildflower seeds though, tossing them in far reaching crescent moons.

The rest of the week was spent focusing on Max's third birthday which was a beautiful happy day. That child is light and love and pure joy and we celebrated his existence with gifts and homemade cake and a Spiderman balloon.

I held my breath the rest of the week, walking around my thoughts on tiptoes. So many memories flooded back into remembrance.

I remember the way the nurse in the ultrasound room held my hand when we all knew and words were unspoken. She gripped me with the love of humankind.

I remember the peace our midwife brought into labor and how she didn't leave once he was born and her shift was over. She stayed and talked with us about our lives and her life and I remember she wasn't afraid to laugh with us, as strange as that sounds. In shock, our emotions were all over the place and there were moments with James in our arms where we laughed. I am happy with did.

I remember my breasts filling with milk. They ached, they were heavy and it made me SO SO mad. On top of it all there was that and it seemed cruel and unfair. I remember focusing on it so intensely, that I realized I had to just let it go and once I did, my milk was gone and dried up.

I remember kind souls calling funeral homes so I wouldn't have to. I remember others dropping off flowers and cards unexpectedly in moments of darkness and I would open the front door and there they would be, little rays of light.

Mostly I remember singing to James in a moment of pure aching. I started to sing "I am a child of God," a song I had sung to Max when he was born. I started singing and Kyle joined me and for a moment he wasn't dead, he was just sleeping, calmed by the voice of his parents.

There are many precious moments, moments I ache for and often detest returning to. Memories, while cherished, can be painful.

We spent the Saturday before his anniversary in the temple. Due to scheduling, Kyle and I had not gone together in a few months and it was the best decision we made all week. Every time I have been in the temple since James' death I have cried; tears of bitterness, tears of sorrow, tears of peace and comfort. I didn't cry this time. There was a peace and comfort and a knowledge attained that afternoon that brought so much solace to our hearts as we remembered the promises we had made with God and the promises He had made in return.

Sunday was rather uneventful. We were in Seattle and the sky was covered in a foggy haze and drizzled rain gently, cleansing the landscape and streets, making the leaves shine. I remembered him all day, imagining what it would be like in that alternate universe I let myself escape to sometimes. It seems happy there, but who really isn't my reality.

My reality has seen lows, but I feel like I understand happiness better now because of it all. So yes, I would be happy with James here in my arms, but even though he isn't here here, it doesn't mean that happiness can't exist in this reality. Because it does and I understand more completely now that true source of happiness and how to maximize it and grab hold of it and relish in it.

For all that I have, for all that I have lost, I am happier than I have ever been. All because he existed.


  1. What a wonderful post about your sweet James. We just had our Thomas' birthday last month and something that we decided to do, was to do something fun that he would have enjoyed at that age. We went to the zoo and donated a toy.
    I hope you have peace and comfort as this pregnancy continues and I pray that everything will go well.

  2. <3 you, dear sweet friend. I love the wildflower idea.