A year ago today my family and friends attended Finley’s funeral. I had never been to the funeral of a child before; in fact I’ve been to very few funerals in general. It was very sad and it was very hard.
Finding the words to share about a person that you love so much but feel like you barely got a chance to know is very hard. Funerals usually speak of the things that a person liked to do, their accomplishments, words from people they loved. We never got to know who Finley would turn out to be; whether he would have liked sports or been clever in school, what he would have wanted to be when he grew up. I will never know what his favourite food would have been, or the kind of music he would like. The only things we were left with were the life Steve and I had shared, how our anticipation for him was so special and changed our lives, how we readied ourselves for his arrival. We could talk of things we wanted to do with him, plans we had made. That he looked just like Steve. That he was perfect.
I’m finding this milestone hard. It is the last of the first ‘anniversaries’ since he died. From here on out every milestone will be a second or third or twentieth. Right now it feels horrible that time continues on. I hurt so much that I am moving further away in time from when I held him. From when I was still truly happy and had the whole world ahead of me. I feel weighed down. There is a heaviness on my heart. I MISS MY SON! So much.
A year ago I attended my own son’s funeral. I did not want to go. I did not want to say goodbye to him. The ceremony was beautiful. The music was perfect. Everyone brought stuffed animals to donate to the children’s unit of the hospital instead of flowers. We released balloons at the end of the ceremony. I wanted to include the balloons as a way of letting go. But when it came down to doing it, I did not want to let it go. I wanted to hold on to it forever, just like I wanted to hold on to him. Letting go of that balloon felt in my heart like I was having to say goodbye to him forever. I’ve since realised that he will always be a part of me, but thinking back to the way I felt on that day brings me back to that same place of desperation all over again. I don’t know how I managed to let it go, but I did. And I watched until every single balloon was out of sight. It was beautiful and I somehow felt a bit lighter.
I never thought I would have to plan a funeral for my son. I never could have imagined that I would outlive my child. And yet here I sit, a year to the day after his funeral. Living through the last of the firsts, and getting ready to start the cycle all over again…
Sweet dreams Finley.