Thursday, July 19, 2012

Balloons for brother...



The day of Will's funeral and his little tree ~ 2008


Our family in front of Will's tree ~ 2012


Jack clinging to his balloon, telling me "No!" when I told him to let it go :)



Today its been 4 years.
And after all this time, many things have changed.
And many things have not.
My heart and body still know this day.
Without warning I cry.
I feel lost.
I feel anxious.
I am still grieving.
My living children have no idea.
Not yet anyway.
In the coming years they will come to learn that these are "Will's days."
The time of year when I really cannot escape the emotions that build up over the course of the year and suddenly burst out.
I miss him.
I wonder what our family would be like if he hadn't died.
And now that Jack is almost 2, I especially wonder what Will's personality would have been like.
Would he have been more laid back and chill like Declan?
Or full of sass, stubborn and crazy like Jack.
I'll never know.
It sucks to go through life with such questions.

The other new struggle is how to teach our living children about their brother.
Each year we don't know what to do.
I questioned if should finally find a plot and have him buried here in Michigan.
But what if we leave, or move out of state again?
The thought of leaving him here is absolutely devastating.
So his ashes remain in our bedroom.
There is no grave to visit,
no good way to explain to Jack...
Sometimes I wonder if it would also be easier for me to visit a grave.
To see his name etched in stone,
something permanent.
Something for the world to see.
Maybe some day...

But this year we decided we had to do something.
So we got a cake.
G & G and Uncle Eric came over.
We took a photo in front of Will's tree,
and had 4 balloons.
Our new little tradition.
After the cake, we went out back and let go of our balloons with messages of love scribbled on them.
I explained to Jack that they were for his big brother and that they would float up to heaven.
We let them go and watched them float away.
All except Jack.
"Let it go," I gently coaxed him.
And in true Jack fashion, he quietly said, "No."
After a few more minutes he relucantly let go.
We watched them quickly float up and out of sight.

"Oh, wow!" he said...
Yeah, I thought to myself.
How has it been 4 years since I last held my baby?
Wow.
I remember that first night when he died and being put into the hospital bed as Tim climbed in next to me. Most of that night is a blur, except for the pain and a few random thoughts.
One of those thoughts was how I was going to make it. And what was our life going to look like after such a horrible thing happened? How long before I would feel normal again? What would it be like when his death happened years ago and not just minutes and hours?
And here we are.
4 years and 2 healthy boys later.
I am truly blessed.
And I remember this as I cry tonight,
but it somehow doesn't make it any easier.
I have accepted that I will spend my whole life missing Will & loving him through the 2 boys here with me now.

And next year,
there will be 5 balloons.


3 comments:

Mary Mosher said...

Julie:

It's Mary Mosher, I used to be Mary Venza.
I just had a loss. A very devastating loss about three months ago and I am really struggling now and feel very alone in my sadness. My daughters Kay'za (18 mths) and Jernaysha (2 1/2 yrs) were my foster daughters for the last 18 mths. Kay, I picked up right from the hospital when she was just 2 days and Jern since she as just one. They are sister. We were well on our way to adopting the girls when our world was completely rock. Though a series of extremely unfortunate events the girls were moved from our home to another foster home so they could be placed with family. We had one hour "to ready"their things and then they were gone. My heart is broken and though I still have my beautiful biological boys I miss the girls so much it can consume me at times. These girls were every bit a part of our lives as any family member. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas, and grandpas, are devastated. Holidays, birthdays, family time never to be the same.
After they were taken I kept my self so busy with the foster care review board appeal that I never really faced what had happened here to my little family. We were a family of 6 down to 4 and within an hour and no one was dead they were just gone. Out of our reach.
After all of the "busy" went away, the sadness came. And it is hard because they are not dead , but I will never see them again so there is no symbolic ceremony here to move us past this.
One day is easy and the next hard. I'm taking it day by day and hour by hour
You have a lovely blog and I had no idea that your family had endured such heartache and I am so sorry for that. Thank you for giving me a place for my thoughts :-) smiles to you and yours

Amber said...

Thinking of you! Glad to see you posted about those boys. Praying that you will find peace and enjoy those early years that are the hardest years with your boys! Keep up the pictures.

siva suriyan said...

Good