Why second birthdays suck
I have been feeling a little lost the last few weeks. Or maybe it has been months, I am not so sure. When you are in the midst of a grief dip, it can feel all too consuming like the current emotions have been flooring you for what feels like an eternity. I assumed it was all because of the time of year, Holly's upcoming birthday and the memories of what we were going through, this time 2 years ago. Just thinking about it all sometimes just feels too much to bear.
Last year (in the run up to Holly's first birthday), I was heavily pregnant with Kobe. I had an easy way to distract myself and although we did celebrate Holly's birthday in some wonderful ways, it didn't feel half as hard as it is feeling this year.
I always assumed that grief just 'got easier over time' and whilst the initial trauma does feel less raw as time goes on, I don't really feel that any of it gets any easier. If anything, grief is a constant roller coaster where most days you are just creeping slowly up the ramp until you inevitably reach the top and then plummet to the ground. Some 'okay' days will then follow and some completely happy days too but the cranking of the wrench to take you back up, is never far off.
It dawned on me the other day that maybe the second birthday is the hardest anniversary. During the first year following Holly's death, everything was a first. First Christmas without her, first family holiday and first birthday to name a few. Understandably all those firsts were horrible and heart wrenching but there was a certain (I don't know if this word is ever acceptable when talking about baby loss but here goes..) novelty to it too. I don't mean that my baby dying was a novelty but more like when having a real breathing baby and the novelty that comes with celebrating their firsts. It is new and exciting for parents to experience these firsts with them and I chose to celebrate Holly's firsts because it is how my grief manifests, in celebrating in her memory. The thing is though, with a real breathing baby, the novelty of these moments continue each year because your baby grows and you learn how they like to celebrate. When your baby is dead, that doesn't happen.
Instead you are left with a sinking and terrifying feeling that your baby will be left behind. I don't know how Holly would like to celebrate her birthday so how do I know what I am suppose to do and how am I suppose to know what to do for EVERY year after? Holly hasn't just died anymore so does that mean that people stop thinking about her so much?
It doesn't matter how many times people tell me that 'she will never be forgotten', because all I can think is 'but would she be forgotten if I just didn't share her as much as I do?' Would she really be remembered as much as I wish she could be?
It would break my heart if Eleni or Kobe were forgotten but I know they would never be because they can scream, shout and cry. They have a voice. It would break my heart if Holly was forgotten but she doesn't have a voice which is why I make mine heard.
Only, I feel that making a voice is harder as time goes on.
The firsts are not firsts anymore. They are seconds which will roll quickly into thirds and forths and so on. Holly wont be here for her second birthday or 32nd birthday. She will never be here but my heartache will be.
The constant battle of keeping her memory alive will be here for everyday I am living and that is a heavy heart to carry. I would use up all my birthday wishes to wish that every baby is always remembered and for every bereaved parent to know that. I would use up all my birthday wishes to just let Holly have one of her own.
Second birthdays suck.
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.