Today is a special day for Dee & I. It’s the first year anniversary for our child, Nathaniel.
We knew this day will eventually come. During the weeks leading up to it, I wondered to myself if this should be Nathan’s first birthday (since he was technically born on 2 Feb 2016) or his death anniversary (since he was pronounced a stillborn child on the same day). Eventually, we decided to just settle down on this being his first anniversary.
Though work has been busy for us lately, we decided to deliberately slow down today. We took off from work so that we could spend a little more time with one another.
One year ago, our lives were shaken when we found out Nathan wasn’t going to join us in this world, and that his journey with us has ended. It was a loss that wasn’t just our own, but also those of our parents, our family, our relatives and friends.
Nathan’s passing taught me and Dee that nothing in this world is permanent. And that sometimes, life will throw difficult curve balls that we have no answers to.
2016 was a year of two half for us. After losing Nathan in Feb, we found out in August (9 Aug in fact!) that Dee was pregnant with baby “Sib.” At times, 2016 felt like such a difficult year that we almost forgot to count our blessings, and that is God giving us another baby in our lives.
Picking Up The Pieces…
About 10 months ago, we buried Nathan’s bones somewhere special. We didn’t want to hold on to it for too long then because we felt it was right for us to let go…even if it’s temporary.
We packed his bones into this little box.
Today, we decide to revisit the place where we buried his bones. We told ourselves that if we do visually see the box, or what’s left of it, then we will bring it back home…Otherwise, we will just leave it at where it’s buried.
And we did…bring it home, and we left some flowers there instead 🙂
Obviously what we did is not what most people would do, or even should do…there are proper places where remains can be kept. But our rational was that since he never got a birth or death certificate anyway, there was no reason for him in having anything permanent.
So we did what we wanted to do to cope with our loss and recovery. I guess the point behind this is that each loss is personal.
The most important thing about this isn’t actually about what we did. Rather, it was that we did as a family, Dee and I – super happy as well that sib could join us as an (unwilling) accomplice this time around!
Losses Can Be Very Painful, But Moving On Is Possible
The past year have taught us that while some losses are agonisingly painful, we can still move on to another chapter of our lives.
The greatest fear for us moving on is being afraid that the shared experiences that we previously had with Nathan would be lost. That the memories of him will slowly fade away in our lives. But that’s not a good reason to cling on.
We move on not because we have to, but because we want to.
I know that Nathan will always be an important part of our lives. The next chapter of our lives has already started, but that doesn’t mean the previous chapter we had with him is over, or irrelevant. The impact he has brought us will shape our thoughts and how we are as person, and also the parents we will be.
And that’s the kind of impact a loved one can bring to anyone, even little babies like Nathan.
I recently re-read the book, “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. Here’s a quote which caught my attention from the book.
“Choice is therefore the key. We can run from the darkness, or we can enter into the darkness and face the pain of loss. We can indulge ourselves in self-pity, or we can empathise with others and embrace their pain as our own. We can run away from sorrow and drown it in addictions, or we can learn to live with sorrow. We can nurse wounds of having been cheated in life, or we can be grateful and joyful, even though there seems to be little reasons for it.”
For those of you who are wondering how Dee and I have been, We just want you to know that we are doing fine.