Celebrating Life

Leo,

I’m coming to notice that birthdays are really hard for me. Today is your big sister Lily’s birthday. She had such a wonderful day. But each time I feel grateful that she is still here with us, I am reminded that you’re not. I remember watching and hearing you exhale your last breath. The happiness I feel for your sisters is a stinging reminder of your absence. Celebrating during grief is really complicated. As a matter of fact, everything is complicated.

I find myself annoyed with people’s innocence. I see others that remind me of who I used to be and it is bothersome. I miss going through life thinking that benign accomplishments or hiccups are worth my time. I remember what “success” looked like to me, and it turns out, my definition was hollow at best.

I hate those little reminders of how much I’ve changed. I hate that it was your death that opened my eyes. What I wouldn’t give to turn back the clock…

I looked at your sisters’ birth certificates today and my heart stopped when I saw a familiar name at the bottom. The same MD that signed your death certificate, signed their birth certificates. I almost burst into tears at the sight of the name. Most of the time, I feel like I’m doing okay, then, in an instant, I’m confused, sad, and lost all over again. It’s those times when I feel called to visit you at the cemetery. Being near your body, which was wrapped up in so much love, somehow soothes me.

I hope someday I can celebrate without feeling your absence. I know you’re present with us at every moment, I guess I just have to accept it all over again.

I love you,
Mom

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