September 5th has come and gone once again. A yearly date that takes me back to the moment that changed my life for a second time. The death of my second son Jacob. You know what I did to remember him this year? Nothing. You know how I felt about that decision? Perfectly fine. Sometimes in life traditions end so I'm writing this blog to all those who have stopped celebrations that remember their children gone too soon.
It's okay, it really is okay to stop having elaborate celebrations year after year for your children who have passed. By no means am I suggesting you do or that it is wrong if you still do, I just personally don't have the energy. Life has me living and I can't bring myself to plan all these extra occasions to remember Jacob, Ty or baby unknown. October 15th will be here soon and I probably will not participate in remembering my children much because I still don't have the energy. I may make a post about them or go visit their graves but that's all I can muster right now.
There were years I grappled with this balance. Remembering the dead while trying to live. The balance was hard for me, I never found it so I stopped. I stopped trying to hold myself to something I wasn't capable of. I felt guilty for so long that others continued on and I just couldn't bring myself to it. Baking the cakes, trying to make a special day, figuring out how to responsibly celebrate (no Chinese lanterns, no balloon releases) who I wanted to be around, what we should do, it just became too much.
Then, earlier this year, someone asked me how I was celebrating the boys this year and I said, I won't be. Well, I won't be on their birthdays because here is the thing. I may not celebrate them on their birth and death days because I don't have it in me to plan anything but the the thing is that they are apart of my life everyday, especially at this time of year. Reminders of them are all around between September 5th-October 15th. It's not like I need a reminder to celebrate because I do it year round. They are on my mind often, they come up in conversation, when we donate to places their names are included, this blog exists because of them, I continue to write because of them, they are here with us the rest of the year and to me that's enough.
I stopped the cards at Christmas and instead have chosen to donate toys to an organization that needs them. I buy toys of the age the boys would be. I only did one balloon release before I realized how harmful they are to the environment and instead go around and plant trees. Some would say that's my way of celebrating them but it's not on their birthday, it's not every year. It's when I have the energy to put time and thought into that part of my life when the other part isn't horribly overwhelming. New traditions are taking place, just like they did after the boys died and after I got divorced.
It's okay for traditions to stop. It's okay for traditions to change. It's okay to take a break, maybe take a year off and get back to it. For me, I know my boys are with me, I know they continue to make an impact on this world far beyond what I will ever know. This year I will celebrate to the best of my ability and I'm okay with whatever ends up happening. Don't hold yourself to a high level that you can't achieve because your grief is messy and exhausting, do what you can in your own way.
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All Of My Children
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