It is nearly 2am as I type this blog and the day has been emotionally draining to say the least, yet I am still awake with my thoughts. It was 3 years ago today that I last held my baby, her lifeless body dressed in a cute overall outfit and my hands holding that small white bow on her head. She was beautiful and perfect and appeared to be asleep, only she wasn't. She was gone.
My heart breaks and tears fill my eyes when I think back to the details of those two days and every single detail of what happened. For some people, they remember being in a fog, which I think sometimes might have been easier.
As a family, we met out at the cemetery at Savannah's grave site. We tied 3 big cheery birthday balloons and brought her some beautiful flowers.
We set off 3 Chinese lanterns, each one carrying one year's worth of pain, sadness, grief, anger, love, hope, and peace up to Savannah in Heaven.
We each enjoyed a bite of Savannah's chocolate cake that her big brother picked out at the same time as watching the lobsters in the tank across the aisle in the grocery store. It's hard for him because he doesn't remember her and he doesn't have any questions. He tells me "Mommy, don't be sad. Be happy!" I tell him that it's OK to be sad that Savannah doesn't live here on Earth, but somehow, it seems above the head of a 4-year old.
Afterwards, we went to the Olive Garden for dinner. We all ordered food, but really none of us ate it. We just weren't in the mood, although some Italian comfort food seemed like a good idea at the time. The waiter was especially nice to us even though we were having a rough time. With the check, he included a hand-written card that said "May the four of you have a blessed evening." But there aren't four of us. We are a family of five.
And we came home and put the kids to bed, prepped for the next day, and went to sleep. At least Eric went to sleep. I couldn't sleep.
I was angry and hurt that no one had called or emailed or sent a card to acknowledge that today was Savannah's 3rd Birthday in Heaven. I was disappointed in my family, in my parents, in my sisters. I was disappointed in my husband's family, in my friends, in our friends. I felt like my biggest fear was coming true ~ people were forgetting Savannah ever existed.
I get that people don't know the right thing to say. I can understand how some people might feel like bringing it up might make me sad. The truth is, I will forever be sad, especially on these two days, and ignoring it makes it worse. I WANT to talk about it and I want you to listen. I NEED to talk about it. I am on a journey ~ one similar to motherhood. Once it begins, it never ends. Jeremy and Irelynn will never know their sister, not in their lifetime. It's not about me (Shannon) looking for attention. It's about someone who was part of our family, someone very much loved and wanted, is gone and is never coming back.
Yes, I have another child and I am so grateful. But I will NEVER stop missing or loving or yearning for my daughter, Savannah. If I have 10 more daughters, the dates of May 17-18 will always be emotionally draining and sad for me.
What can you do? Put special dates and anniversaries on your calendar for someone you know who has lost a baby and make the effort to reach out to them and let them know you are thinking of them, that you care, and that you haven't forgotten their child. And don't be alarmed if tears arise. Tears are signs of healing, just as loving supportive words and sentiments. In fact, they help people heal more than you can imagine.