I receive several painful emails from baby marketers every week. No matter the number of times I've unsubscribed, there is always another one - giving tips for the perfect nursery, the softest clothing for baby, pampering for the new mom. If it's not the email marketers, it's the deluge of miracle baby and parenting stories that perpetually pop up on every search engine that exists. I can only imagine the torment I'd endure if I had a facebook account. I usually laugh out loud, try to diffuse whatever minor impersonal blow strikes, but I often end up in tears at the effortless realities depicted..., at the easy joys and concerns that will never again be mine after Zachary's death. Today's stab came by email:
Happy Birthday January babies! Treat your January babe with a legacy birthstone necklace...
Perfect. Do you size them to adorn the urns of dead children? Great, I'll need two.
We have been trying to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of Zachary's first birthday (on January 7) and the first anniversary of all the beautiful, and then horrendous, moments of his life in January. There is a burning desire to honor him during this time, to acknowledge the fourteen days of his life more intentionally than we otherwise feel permitted to do. We keep fantasizing that maybe if we have a plan, if we create an illusion of control over the things we do in his memory, maybe the crumble-and-fall-apart effect will be dulled by at least a fraction.
Yesterday over lunch, my sister and I mulled over the list of ideas and plans that B, C.T. and I have mapped out to do in Zachary's memory. I'm feeling okay about the specific things we have planned, but honestly, it is so damned hard, so unsatisfying. The person of honor is my dead son. There is no party. There are no happy guests taking time out of their day to lavish my boy with love and birthday presents, no messy first bites of cake. This is nothing like what I imagined when I thought about planning Zachary's first birthday. And he is not the first dead son for whom we must remember his birthday..., rather than celebrate it with him. It is so overwhelming that this new level of brokenness is really my life.
January is going to be brutal. I miss him so much.