Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gone Too Soon Picnic

I posted this on my other blog ( a few days ago, but I feel like it belongs here too. Jacob was my inspiration for the picnic afterall, so it should be on his blog. This is exactly what I wrote on my other blog, so some of you may have already read about it. 

I think it was in June that Jackie and I first starting talking about a picnic/get together for babyloss families and decided on August 20, 2011 to have it close to the Day of Hope. Somewhere along the way, we changed the date to August 21st. I knew I was pregnant when we started talking about it more and kept imagining coming to it and being pregnant and hopeful. I had thought it out and knew that I wouldn't be showing enough for it to be obvious and I wasn't going to tell anyone that it might hurt. Then we found out the babies had died and I worried that it might be hard to see the living children of those who were coming, but it wasn't. Maybe it was knowing all of the heartache that each of the families had experienced.

Jackie did so much work for this get-together. As soon as she found out that the twins I'm carrying died, she said not to worry about doing anything for today which was a load off my mind and good because I have trouble concentrating on things these days. She did so much. I'm just in awe of her. She brought balloons for everyone to release. She created a board of babies' names. It had many names on it when she arrived and we all added the names of other babies that we know. She created handouts for everyone. She even brought blankets which came in really handy when there was a downpour and we needed them to wipe off picnic tables. She also created flyers for the event and distributed them to hospitals (including the hospital where Jacob was born). Jackie - thank you so much for all the work you did! I promise I will help more next year.  Akemi also handed out a card to everyone that said "In our arms for a moment, In our hearts forever" which was a really nice touch.

It was supposed to start at 3. Ted and I got there first, since we live so close, and we could see the rain clouds making their way over. The park emptied fast. It was kind of funny. Elaine and her family and Jackie and hers arrived and we all waited out the storm in our cars. I was getting worried that it wouldn't stop and was feeling badly for all those who travelled far to get there. But the rain stopped, the sun came out and we had a good 2 hours before it rained again.

I don't know about many people came...around 20 I think. I met people I've heard about or who I am friends with on Facebook, but really don't know very well and it was so nice to talk to them.

There were many touching moments. Just looking around and knowing that every family there has lost a baby, or babies. All of the heartbreak that has existed, and still exists. It was a gathering of sorrow and strength.

There was a couple there who lost their son just 3 weeks ago. As soon as I heard how recent it was, I just felt sick for them. Those early days are so, so hard. It is so hard to function and impossible to believe that life will ever get remotely better, much less ever feeling any happiness again. Ted and I spoke with them for a long time. They are so similar to us in our grief, and both of our baby boys died early in the 5th month of pregnancy. The difference was that they got a fatal diagnosis during their anatomy scan and had to make the horrible decision, whereas we found out when Jacob had already passed away. She had all the same worries and regrets that I had. He had all the same worries that Ted had/has. We even laughed sometimes, about all the things we do. Like me being so paranoid about something happening to Jacob's things, that I have a specific plan just for them in the event of an emergency.

Ted and I could both see ourselves in them. The way L was trying to stay strong for M, but still feels so much pain. And M has reacted so much the same way I did. Hanging on to everything that had anything to do with her baby, sleeping with his blanket, looking at her baby's picture all the time and so many other things. I hope they looked at us and could see that there is hope. I got emotional several times while we talked while remembering last summer and just how broken we were and how broken they currently feel.

We exchanged information and I hope we keep in touch. They just came to Canada too, so not only did they lose their baby, they are in a new country.

Jackie had the great idea for us all to go to the water to release our balloons and it was perfect. It was the first time Ted and I have done a balloon release for Jacob and it was nice.

We are looking forward to next year.

Heading down to the lake for the balloon release

Ted's balloon
Now I feel bad that I didn't write more for August, Cub and
the twins. Just add it to the pile of regrets.....

Off they go

My friends


Raquel said...

Beautiful!! I love the idea of a picnic.

Hugs to you!

Sarita Boyette said...

Dana, it looked like it was a lovely memorial picnic for the lost little ones. I'm so sorry, though, that there was a need for such a gathering.
If you would like tags for your other babies, please email me. I would be honored to make them for you. xoxo

crystal theresa said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful picnic. I'm glad the rain stopped long enough to spend some time together.

I started tearing up when you wrote about the couple that is new in their grief. I think you did give them hope--if anything, they know they can survive. Sometimes, that's as much as we can ask for.

Also, I wanted to say that BLMs' pregnancies and rainbows are also less difficult for me, too. I definitely think it's that shared pain.

Rhiannon said...

It sounds like such a beautiful day. I am glad that you were able to help organize it and attend. I am thinking about you all the time and sending love. <3