Anniversary - 6 years
September is always a little more mellow and moody for me. It's been 6 years and it still hurts. There are moments the memory can crush me but they are fewer and fewer every year. Our loss is the most sensitive on the anniversaries of when we found out he had died in September and his due date in February.
When we went back to visit London last month, we placed a grave stone on our son's grave. We were not emotionally together enough to do that when we buried him. I ordered a beautiful yet simple stone off of Etsy and kept it safe in my carry-on. It felt so right to be back there. To be in the place where we experienced and grew so much. We will always be tied to that wonderful city not just because we loved and gained from it but the losses we had, too.
The thing that has actually helped most is to talk about him. And there is no one better than Charlotte to do that. Seriously, she brings up her brother all the time. At the park, at the store, at church, anywhere. She is proud and fearless, which is mostly because she just doesn't get why people get sad when she tells them about her brother who is already in heaven.
People who ask if we're going to try for a boy get a quick correction that 'we already have a brother'. A simple query about their names and Charlotte volunteers hers, Devon's and her brother-in-heaven's.
We have been gifted a few Christmas ornaments to hang on our tree in his memory. I'm fairly certain that's when she made the connection that he is as much a part of the family as anyone. To remember her brother is just as real to her as talking about a cousin, aunt/uncle or grandparent.
She inspires me.
I can talk about our son without getting overwhelmed now. I don't feel like I can't breathe or that something big is sitting on my chest. It's a part of me and my story that gets shared when I get to that place with new people. With Charlotte's help, we get to that point with people a lot faster than we have in the past years.