Happy Birthday in Heaven

It’s been three years that we’ve been celebrating you from so very far away and it seems surreal.

We all came together for lunch again and to decorate your tree on the porch. Amelia picked out a “HUNT” ornament because it had a black lab on it. Gabriel…well, I’m slacking this year and need to find one from him. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I have two children because this time last year, we were all anxiously awaiting his arrival!

It’s always something unexplainable when your family and I get together in honor of you. We do it mostly for the kids but for ourselves too. We all put on our brave face in hopes to not be the first one to break down. We see the pain in each others eyes and just simply know and hurt for eachother.

I tend to get quiet when I’m struggling and frustration comes to the forefront. Today, I gave up on an outlet cover. Simple twist of a screw but when the screw dropped, I walked away. I later saw your dad pick it up and put it back for me so I know, they see me struggling. I hope they know how much I appreciate them. I tell them all the time but it runs so deep there aren’t enough words.

Grief is really the conflicting group of human emotions caused by an end to or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.

How familiar I had grown to being your wife and biggest supporter. Someone to shower you with love and encourage you in all aspects of life. Now here I am with all this love to give but instead of spending it on someone, I hold it close and fear noone will see past my pain to reach it.

There continues to be rollercoasters as we keep your memory alive. Most days are good but today was tough.

Our last family photo with you before diagnosis

Nothing will ever fix grief and we have to take responsibility in our efforts to recover from it even though it will never go away. It’s all about taking small steps in order to process and work within your grief. So we will continue to celebrate you every year in hopes to teach ourselves and the kids that it’s ok to grieve and celebrate simultaneously.

I’ve always focused on the little things because they are truly what matter in the end and I hope the kids grow up knowing that you are a person worth celebrating. While our time with you wasn’t nearly long enough, it was long enough for us all to experience a deep level of love we may have missed had you never been born.

I hope doing all these “little things” that allow us to speak your name freely, will be the big things that they remember you by. They wont have hugs, inside jokes, or hand written cards but they will have the memories of celebrations and stories from those of us who were blessed to have you.

Happy Birthday in Heaven Josh. We miss you and love you.