I still can’t believe it. In just 2 days, my daughter Sahar will turn 2 in heaven. 2! As her birthday closes in, I feel more and more guilty, lost, and conflicted. Last year was so different. I was pregnant with our rainbow Ayden and I was going through terrible fear episodes as I reached the 22 week mark in which I lost our little girl. But that’s not the reason I feel this way. The reason I feel this way is how differently my grieving and remembrance process looked. As May 7th approached, I knew exactly how I wanted to honor my little girl’s birthday.
This year, Ayden is here, keeping me busy with his “da-da-da-da”‘s, his moving around the house and the smiles that brighten up my life so much. I look at him, and all I want for him is health and happiness. I want him to never suffer, be sad or ache in any way. With Sahar’s birthday approaching, I find myself conflicted as to how I want to honor her. Last year we honored her in a quiet, peaceful way. We visited her grave, talked about her for hours and cried about her for hours. And personally, I would feel comfortable doing this the same way this year, because eating cake and celebrations just don’t feel right since she’s not with us. But as I look at my happy little boy, I don’t want him to witness, let alone feel, so much pain and sadness.
Don’t get me wrong. I want Ayden to know all about Sahar. I want him to understand that we miss her and that we will always grieve her loss. I want him to know that we cry about her because we love and miss her. I want him to accept that she’s not here and that there will always be a hole in our lives. I want her to be a part of his life. I realize that this means that even he will be sad about her sometimes. And that’s okay. But I don’t want him to spend every May 7th grieving, being sad, and crying. I want to find a way to honor and remember Sahar, without turning her every birthday into a heartbreaking moment.
After thinking it trough, I think I have found a way. It may change in the years to come, but I like it for the time being. I want to find a balance to allow ourselves to grieve, but also appreciate what we have together and feel peace. I have a few things in mind with a reason behind each one of them:
- Activity: A walk trough nature. Not so much a park, but more like a walk through the woods, a bit more remote, with birds chirping and butterflies frolicking. When I asked myself where we feel most at peace and connected to Sahar, nature was the answer. So this was an easy choice. If the weather allows, we could even have a picknick!
- Celebration: For us personally it feels unnatural to have balloons and cake, because it confronts us even more with the fact that she is gone. But she is turning two and I wanted to honor that in some way… So I’m baking vanilla and chocolate chip muffins as a treat in her honor.
- Moment of reflection and silence: I think it’s important to have a moment for ourselves, just for Frank and me, to reflect, to think, to share our thoughts, sorrows and feelings. This would be in the evening once Ayden has gone to sleep. I will light Sahar’s candles and we can spend a moment surrounded only by her radiant light.
- Gift: I did this for Christmas too, and it felt very healing. I buy Sahar a little gift, and I place it somewhere at home where I have other items in her honor. It can be something small, like a special candle, or a figurine of some kind. I bought her a Me to you figurine for Christmas, which you can find here.
This is what I have in mind to celebrate our daughter’s second birthday in heaven.
How do you celebrate your baby’s angelversaries? How do you find a balance? How do you teach your children about the one(s) that is/are gone without breaking their hearts?
Let me know in the comments below.