I was very sad the week before Holland's birthday and then I got really sick. I felt a little bitter about the timing, because leading up to her birthday is hard enough. In some ways it was a blessing because I was too sick to really feel sad. But I had done a lot of processing, and that was helpful as well.
I have thought a lot about what she would be like as a 4 year old. I see little four year old girls running around and it seems so strange to think about her being that old. She is just always a baby in my mind. Thinking about her as a four year old makes me miss her immensely. I think sometimes during the grieving process I think I am sort of done with it, and then I get knocked with it somehow. I was reminded that as a parent of a dead child, I will always be sad to some extent. To think that I will ever not be sad about Holland is naive. Every birthday, every milestone that would have been, I will miss her and grieve her. I think accepting that is helpful for me. It helps me to feel like I have permission to be sad even though its been a few years. Sometimes I get embarrassed for being sad because I feel like I "should" be able to keep myself together, and I don't want to be overly dramatic about my loss.
My sweet sister, McKenna sent me flowers for her birthday. I was very surprised and uplifted. I just don't really expect things like this anymore.
The day of her birthday I was sick, but was so grateful I was able to get out of bed and be at the little celebration. I was also very grateful to Nick who did everything. We gathered at the cemetery. I love watching the kids run around. Our friend Connor got there and said, "Lets run on the graves!!" It made me laugh, because death is so different for little kids.
Little Ella told the kids in primary that she was going to a birthday party for someone that died :)
We had wonderful friends and family that are so thoughtful to take time out of their lives to support our family and remember Holland. We had tons of friends and family let go of balloons all over the country. And even more that sent me sweet messages. I am continually surprised by how much love I feel from others; how thoughtful and genuine people can be. It really does make me want to be a better person and it makes me feel less alone in the grief that I have.
We let go of the balloons after writing messages on them, and I love watching the kids get excited. We then had cupcakes.
Happy Birthday my Holly girl.