Yesterday, May 29, 2013, marked my little angel’s 5th birthday. I truly cannot believe it has been 5 years since I gave birth to a little girl with one of the most amazing spirits ever! In case you are new to my story, my little Gianna only lived for a couple of days before we decided to take her off of life support. You can read my whole story of infant loss, from the beginning if you’d like.
While Gianna was only in our lives for a short time, she will be in our hearts and thoughts forever. I believe her to be a remarkable spirit who is not resting on the other side, but trying to make the lives of others even better. She has allowed me to feel her presence on a few occasions since her death, and I will never forget those feelings I felt. The amazing thing to me is that I am inclined to believe that my youngest, Brielle, gets visits from time to time, from her sister. She tells me sometimes that Gianna comes to her in her sleep and tells her that she loves her, and sings her songs. Of course, we’ll never know exactly how this goes down and Brielle will likely forget as she gets older, but I think it’s pretty special.
So, how does a mother celebrate an angel’s 5th birthday at the cemetery, and what is that day like? Well, each year Gianna’s birthday is a little bit easier than the last, but it most certainly isn’t forgotten. I make a point to take the kids out to the cemetery each year on her birthday, and we will eat cupcakes and take a balloon or flowers. The weather has always been perfect and the grounds are lovely. It really is a peaceful time when we do this, (when I’m not getting after the kids for running around and moving around other people’s trinkets on their headstones).
You may like to know how this day is emotionally. I was pretty good for most of the day, but every so often I would get these moments when I would ponder on Gianna’s birth and how terrifying it was, and I would get a bit emotional. I would fight it back and move on with my day. I don’t know if you all do this or not, but I often think about the day my kids were born, on their birthday. Gianna’s birth day was a very traumatic day as it was an emergency c-section, and we didn’t know if she would ever breathe or not. She did, but it wasn’t without many trials and problems along the way.
I think the most difficult thing about Gianna’s birthday is that for me, it is very special and very much in my thoughts and heart, but many others forget about it. I so appreciate those who have remembered and reach out. I don’t expect gifts or anything by any means, but it is nice to know Gianna and I are remembered. My own husband didn’t even remember. That is probably the hardest thing for me. I had to text my husband to remind him and that kind of bothers me. While we don’t celebrate her birthday like we do with our other children, she is still my daughter. Aside from celebrating her birthday, it’s more the fact that I wish more/certain people were sensitive to the fact that May 29-31st are difficult days for me. I find that I am a little more subdued during those days because I find myself replaying those days in my mind, over and over again. I’m sure this will lessen as more time goes on, but that’s where I am 5 years after the fact.
I find joy in the children that I get to spend all of my days with and the grief and mourning is not like it once was. I have peace with what has happened and know that my angel is watching over us, and that we will get to see her again. The difficult times and thoughts are often with the trauma of what happened. It is nice that we get to show our appreciation and love for Gianna each year, by visiting her at the cemetery on her birthday.