It will be one year on Sunday that my 8 month old son, Gideon passed away after spending his entire earthly existence fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So, today I can’t seem to think of anything to say about sofas or lighting or artwork. Today I can think only of him. I have been dreading this one year anniversary for about 6 months now. One year seems so far away from Gideon- so far away from the last time we touched, we snuggled, we said our goodbyes. One year also seems so short compared to the many years until I will see him again. Grieving him for a lifetime seems daunting and unfair.
So many of my experience with Gideon were traumatic- bad test results, emergency surgeries, middle of the night phone calls telling us “this could be it”. Even so, I would give anything to step back into that tumultuous season, if it meant one more day with him. I want to see the faces of the doctors and nurses that became like family to me, to smell the hand sanitizer that we’d all use before entering or exiting the NICU. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I sit and rock Gideon by the window, even though we are tethered to countless machines and alarms. I just want one more day.
What I miss most about Gideon is his peaceful, strong demeanor even in the midst harrowing and chaotic experiences. I never calmed Gideon down, he was always the one to quietly draw me back off of my ledge. I also miss that slight fuzz he had on the top of his head that we called his hair, and that we all cheered him on as it grew. I miss Gideon’s chubby cheeks, his little clubbed foot that would curl in and nestle with the other one. I miss his tiny pink fist that would grab you tight every time you reached for it, as if to say, “I’m not ready to let go.”
There are some days when I think of Gideon that I am filled with an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude . There are other days I feel angry that we live in a world were babies die and mothers have to say goodbye. But to be honest, most of the time thinking of Gideon just makes me sad. I’m sad because I miss my kid and the whole thing pretty much sucks.
But what I’ve noticed about grief (at least for me), is that if I give myself permission to feel those difficult emotions, then they rarely last for too long. I can allow myself feel sad or angry or whatever, and then I get to move on with my day, and enjoy my life. And even though there’s nothing fun about feeling sad or grief, it’s in those darkest moments that I often feel closest to Gideon.
This Sunday we plan to plant a tree in our new backyard in honor and remembrance of him . A symbol of him coming with us to this new house and this new adventure. We’re thinking a palm tree, because their cute and quirky just like him (and they seem to do really well in our neighborhood!).
Thanks for letting me rambling, and for all over your love and support for my whole family.