BITTERSWEET: adjective. The definition of bittersweet is an emotional feeling that is a mixture of both happy and sad.
Of all the words in the English dictionary, there is no single word that sums up learning to live after the loss of a child like this one.
Last night I tossed and I turned. My mind couldn’t seem to find the pause button. Today is a big day. Today we celebrate our little boy in Heaven through a fundraiser for his foundation, his legacy.
Naturally I assumed it was the last minute details and to-do list that were the cause of my sleepless night. But no...that wasn’t it. It is not in my nature to sweat the small stuff. After laying here wide awake for an hour I realize the real reason behind my restless mind. My restless heart.
It’s always him.
We’ve been planning this special evening for months. It’s going to be a perfect. There will be a room full of hundreds of kind, loving and supportive people. We will raise money for the good of our cause, to help babies.
Yes, this is incredible.
Yes, we are so blessed by the continued outpouring of love and support.
But, it’s still him.
I stay focused and busy during the preparation. With dozens of phone calls, getting the details figured out. Lining up sponsors, picking centerpieces - the list goes on and on. I pour my heart and soul into making it perfect.
When my to-do list is checked off, my brain is allowed to stop thinking.
But all I can think about is him.
And the reality hits me with full force.
The fact of the matter is we are holding this event - because he is gone. We are raising money - because he is gone. We are making an impact in the world and helping countless families - because he is gone.
I do not get to throw him birthday parties. I will not plan his graduation open-house. I will not help with the details of his wedding.
Instead I plan events that allow me to say his name. I plan parties to spread our love for him. I plan celebrations to continue leaving pieces of him everywhere I go. I plan so I can make his life and his death matter.
Before the guests arrive tonight I will take a moment to breathe. I will look around and stand in awe of everything he has accomplished from Heaven. I will wipe the tears away and whisper, “I have never been more proud to be your mommy. I love you.” And I know he will hear me.
Living is so bittersweet.