My sweet Sam, two years already since you left us. We’re at this point now where our sense of time is getting distorted. In a way, it feels like an eternity ago since I was taking my weekly pregnancy pictures and putting together the nursery, full of excitement. Yet those two years escaped through our fingers in the blink of an eye. And as that moment when I held my perfect little boy is distancing itself further and further from the present that I’m in, my heart still aches like it was yesterday. Forever broken. I picked up the pieces little by little, and I’m getting there slowly. But it will never be intact again. Fractured, at best. Most likely forever incomplete.
Today, Sam would be celebrating his second birthday. We’d be having cake this afternoon, decorating the house with balloons, handing presents and taking happy pictures. Our birthday boy would be going to kindergarten with his brand new little backpack and his lunchbox, in which I would have secretly added a few surprise treats for his special day. He would be so big already. I would proudly make him sit on the couch and prep Emery next to him so I could take a beautiful picture of my two boys. But alas, this reality will never be.
Today, instead, we took Emery with us to decorate Sam’s headstone. It’s a terrible thing when your child’s birthday is a sad date. I remember last year – his first birthday – being particularly hard, yet healing in away. Once I passed the one year milestone, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I had gone through the grief and trauma like a warrior, and proudly concluded: “I survived”. I felt like the rest of the road would be going up from that point on, instead of going down. And it did. Things only got better afterwards. But only to a certain point. I feel like I will never get all the way up that giant mountain where I once happily stood. There’s only so far up I can go after having lost my little boy. I’m not at my maximum yet; there is still a bit of a way to go. But life will never be like before. Even our wedding memories are tainted with the loss of Sam. We were so excited to start a family when we got married. We couldn’t wait for our first little one. It’s all we talked about during our honeymoon. I was looking at our pictures from Aruba the other day, and I felt something sad about them. It’s almost like Sam was already there in a way. We were so ready for him.
Last year, I was so emotional that I completely failed to come up with something nice to put on his grave. I spent weeks trying to come up with the perfect flowers, the perfect stuffed animal. My mind felt so chaotic that I didn’t even manage to make any decision about it in the end. And I remember feeling so frustrated with myself as we stood there in front of him with nothing nearly as special as I had hoped to bring him on his very first birthday in Heaven. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that this is nothing like me. I’m the decision maker in most situations, and everyone around me usually leans on my strength and sense of practicality. So to be this indecisive and then failing to produce any result is completely out of my character. That’s when you know something is really wrong with me.
This year, I feel like I’ve got my head back on my shoulders somewhat. The ideas occurred to me naturally. I put a few pretty things together and improved the little angel Gert’s aunt placed on Sam’s grave when he was buried. The angel’s blonde hair, which matched Sam’s, had completely faded under the sun. I gave it a fresh coat of paint. I added a beautiful “2” on his brown teddy bear, which I take back home regularly to wash.
Today, Sam’s stone looked pretty and that made me happy. Happy second birthday in Heaven, sweet Sam. We miss you so much and think about you every day. 💕