The last first

This is the last week.

The last week of firsts, culminating in the very last first: the first anniversary of Ander’s death.

Anderson died on Saturday, January 31st at approximately 10:30 p.m. We celebrated his birthday, but I’m not sure what we’re going to do to celebrate his…. death day? (Too morbid.) Angelversary? (I can’t explain why I hate this term with a vengeance, but I do.) That day.

We were invited to a first birthday party of a little girl, but needless to say, we’re not going. We’re hoping the weather is nice and we can go fly kites and walk around the Arboretum, but it’s January in Chicago. We are having dinner with a colleague of mine and his wife who are also a babyloss couple. They married late, had a son, but then she had four miscarriages (two second trimester) and a failed IVF cycle before finally, agonizingly, selecting an egg donor. They are hoping to be pregnant by March, now. I feel they are fitting company for this special-est of days, as they know and understand (and are sensitive enough to leave their toddler at home, even though we do enjoy him on all other occasions!).

I’m not sure how I feel about this last first. I’m not sure how I want to feel. Do I want to relive his last day? Or do I want to bury my head in the sand?

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9 Responses to The last first

  1. meghanoc says:

    eek. the first last. so fitting. I too very much dislike the term “angelversary” but simply for the fact that I dont envision Mabel as an angel (dont really believe in them). i guess I’m fortunate that her death day is the same as her birthday, so I choose to celebrate her birth. hard decsions. I’m curious as to what you end up doing.

    • babylossmama says:

      I would choose to celebrate her birth, too! And I think I dislike the term angelversary for the same reason. I do see Ander in a heaven of sorts, but not as an angel. It’s just too… sanitary?

  2. typhaine says:

    I relate to these questions, especially as i am going through this last week of firsts too (Paul died on February first). I am not sure how i feel about it but i really wanted the day to be remembered so we invited friends and family to join us for a snowshoe hike in honor of Paul. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do exactly (if we’ll have something symbolic included) and i too go back and forth between looking forward to it and wanting to sleep through the day…

    I hope you will find a balance between the two and find a way to remember that will be as peaceful as possible… I will think of Ander on saturday.

    • babylossmama says:

      A snowshoe hike sounds so lovely! Last winter when we were at the Arboretum, we cross-country skiied. This year, it’s warm and rainy, so no snow, which makes me quite disappointed. At least there was snow on his birthday. It was snowing last year when we left the hospital for the last time, without him. It was quiet – after 11 p.m., and clear, and cold, and snowing gently. I do so wish there was snow this year, as your hike sounds just perfect. I will think of you and Paul on Sunday.

  3. Gretchen says:

    For me, I need to be able to sit in the brightness and the darkness of the anniversaries. I just got through the full year of firsts, finishing with Zachary’s funeral. My mind sort of forced me to re-live everything…, as evidenced by my several heavy posts (on my blog) in January.

    I hope the kite and the walk at the MA works out for you. I will be thinking of your darling boy, Ander, and you and your partner, on Saturday. I am so sorry he died. That doesn’t sound like something that people say, but I mean it authentically.

    • babylossmama says:

      I just posted on your blog before reading this, and feel now that my comment is more resonant than before! I’ve been following this month of your firsts, but haven’t been able to post before since it brought back so many memories for me that I admit I shut down a little and had to refocus my attention. I still find reflecting on those last, awful days so hard – I’m still avoiding thinking of them. It was good for me to read about Zachary, though, and to see him and your beautiful family, and to remember him with you. Thank you for thinking of Ander on Saturday :). I’m so sorry our boys are not with us, too.

  4. The last first…a strange time. I guess it’s like entering a new time zone in a way. I don’t like ‘angelversary’ either, I don’t call Hugo an angel. I hope the day is whatever you want it to be. I’ll be thinking of you, your partner, and Ander this Saturday xxx

  5. This is such a lovely post. I am the newsletter editor for our local pregnancy and infant loss support group, Brief Encounters. Would you consider letting us re-print this in our December newsletter. Fittingly the theme is “Firsts and Lasts.” I think your writing will resonate with many of our mamas. Please email if you are interested or would like to chat further. Best.

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