It’s been a whole 365 days since Brady was here.
A year passed, and we made it through all the firsts. In some ways, it feels like a new chapter opened today. I no longer have to anticipate the unknown of any holiday or anniversary. I’ve been through one of them already. I learned that sometimes the anticipation of the date or holiday was worse than the actual day. Of course, there were plenty of days that were unexpectedly hard too. Moving into the second year, I know it doesn’t mean that I’ll react the same with each holiday or anniversary as I did with the first one. There is some relief in knowing that I made it through this one horrible year. And if I can make it through that, I can make it through anything.
I took the day off from work, since I didn’t know how I would react. I had some moments, and mostly, I just wanted to be alone. I struggled mostly last night, which makes sense, since Brady died in the very early morning hours of January 29th. I don’t have many memories associated with this day beyond about 5:00 AM, so the rest of the day passed without incident.
In hindsight, I think taking the day off set the wrong precedent. I would have preferred to ignore the day. I have to live with the fact that Brady isn’t here every day, so I don’t want to put extra emphasis on this day. It’s really no different from any other I have to live without my son. I have such amazing memories of Brady, and I don’t want to spend my time reliving the worst day of my life. I think it would be so much easier for this day to melt into the background if it wasn’t so close to Brady’s birthday. That’s probably something I’ll have to continue to work on moving forward – making sure to emphasize the days we want to remember (like Brady’s birthday) and de-emphasizing the ones we don’t.
I learned a lot about grief in the first year I lived without my son. I recently came across a quote that spoke to me at what feels like such a transitional time for me:
Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.
This first year was all about experiencing all the firsts associated with our loss, and now opens the chapter of remaking our life while continuing to honor the memory of our perfect little boy.