Sometimes this is what grief looks like: laying in bed in the afternoon crying as I anticipate the anniversary of my first baby’s birth and death. Eleven years on Thursday.
Every year I write a blog post for Caleb’s birthday. I used to write much more frequently, but the last several years have been sporadic. But I always post on his birthday. It’s our thing. Except this year I don’t know what to write. What haven’t I already written?
What happens when the words don’t come? Is Caleb’s life any less meaningful? Does it mean the grief is easier to bear?
With two kids here at home, life can just get busy. We have plans to decorate some rocks and put them by Caleb’s grave. Possibly mini golf party with some friends. Pizza and milkshakes for dinner. Things we think an 11 year old boy would love.
But usually around this time, I just want to be alone and cry and think of what could have been. Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be alone. I want hugs and words from friends. I want reminders that Caleb was special to others. I want people to remember that our family has three boys, not just the two they see.
Thankfully I do have amazing family and friends who have grieved with me and comforted me. Friends who will stand with me these days but also give me space for whatever I’m feeling.
After 11 years of this, I know it tends to be the anticipation of Caleb’s birthday that is worse than the actual day. But for today I lean into the grief. I let myself cry and feel the sadness. I know because I’ve lived it for 11 years, “weeping my last for a night but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
I might not have more words this year on Caleb’s birthday. But there’s a lot from past years that are worth reading again 😊