The closer Ayden’s birthday, the faster my heartbeat.
I’ve thought about June & July of 2017 days following his passing last year. Like all parents in my boat, I knew I wouldn’t want to exist on these months, especially on his birthday & death anniversary. I used to think what I’d do on these days in the coming year. That was anyway left unclear & unanswered.
Now that June & July are imminent, it’s hard to ignore the sweaty palms.
I asked my husband a few days ago what we should do on his birthday. He just said – “you tell me.” Every time we start to discuss him or his birthday, we end up not discussing. We end up in silence, until one of us makes an effort to break it with some joke that actually works. And it does work, most of the time. I think that’s the power of having someone who knows you in & out & has the same experience as you. That’s good.
I was pleasantly surprised when a colleague of mine recently asked – “Chhotu’s (little one’s) birthday is coming up na?” It was like she read my mind because I was actually thinking about it at that very moment.
“Oh, you remember?” I didn’t hide that I was surprised.
“Ya. June 2nd or 4th, though?”
“Do you guys have any memorial service or anything like that planned?” Strange that she spoke about his birthday & anniversary in just that one sentence.
Nevertheless, that’s when it struck me that if I need to plan anything, & later not regret not planning, I need to do it NOW.
I don’t remember what I answered to her. I must have said “nothing planned” or something on those lines.
We’ve been wanting to get a video compilation of his pictures & videos and a few of our pregnancy pictures, and put a story together. We started doing it a while ago, but left mid-way for the interruption by some random un-invited throat lumps in between. Maybe, we should finish that.
In a recent phone conversation with my mom, she said – “last year this time we were in Hyderabad with you.” She & my sister had come to visit me in my second trimester. “It’s almost a year.” I sensed the sigh in her voice.
That almost in her sentence actually meant that she was referring to June & July & not about their visit. Their visit wasn’t almost a year ago; it was more than a year ago.
For a bunch of us – Ayden’s parents, grandparents, uncles, aunt – it’s hard to brush aside the upcoming few weeks. It’s hard to oversee anything beyond those few weeks.
Last night again, I popped the question – “what should we do on his birthday?” This time there was an answer, a reasonably clear one – “We’ll do whatever you want to do. we’ll plan it well.” When it was followed by a hug, it felt right.
As days go by, I’m just trying to keep my fist tighter, my feet firmer and my people closer.