As we approach my survivor's second birthday and the second anniversary of my son's death, I feel great ambivalence. I don't feel the overwhelming grief that I felt last year. My son's presence or lack there of is less heavy. However, this in and of itself makes me feel sad. Grief doesn't come with a rule book, which each mourn our losses in different ways, but sometimes I feel guilty. Are the choices I've made wrong, have I not done enough to honor my son's memory? Obviously I will never forget and his loss will always be felt, but I desperately want to move forward. For myself, for my daughters, my husband. Selfishly I don't want him to be part of our everyday lives, isn't life for the living? I don't want my daughters' lives to be overshadowed by their missing brother. He wasn't even here, he was stillborn. We don't know what he would've been like, I mourn the loss of what could have been sure, but I don't know if I mourn him, I never knew him.
My husband and I have chosen not to make our son part of our everyday lives. We have chosen not to have elaborate ceremonies to remember. We light a candle on his anniversary and other significant days in the Jewish calendar, but that's about it. My husband, older daughter and I all feel the loss of what could have been. I think we'll always carrier him in our hearts. I'm not sure yet what my surviving twin will think. I don't know if she'll remember him or feel his loss. She's a happy little girl and I don't ever want to burden her with our grief. I'd never hide the loss from her, but I don't want it to shape her.
I'm starting to feel some peace with our choices, but there's that little nagging voice that says you're not doing enough, you're forgetting about him, what kind of mother are you! How do I quiet that voice? That insecurity that some how we're not good enough. I guess I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. On my darkest days I remember that there are two little girls here that need me, that the best way I can honor my son is to be the best mother I can to his sisters. And, most of all that it's ok to be happy for what I have rather than sad for what I don't and if anyone judges me for that, then that's not my problem. Some days it's a lot easier than others. This year I'm working on letting going of the guilt. Now, I just need to figure out how to celebrate my survivor's birthday and mark another milestone that my son won't reach.