I would love to just go back to Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 3:24 pm and stay there a little longer, but I can't. Time moves forward. Life continues. The sun rises again, and a new day is before us. I have to move forward into the future as well. I feel like I should have a big black letter M for mourning stamped on me so that everyone knows what I'm going through right now, but instead I have to figure out how to move through each day carrying the grief that I'm carrying while the rest of the world continues on as it did before. I know that one day it will be much easier, but it's all so fresh on my mind and raw in my heart right now.
Today is Auri's birthday, and we've been talking about his birthday for quite some time now, planning out how we're going to celebrate, what kind of cake he wants, and what gift we would give him. My mommy heart was torn between two children pulling me in opposite directions: grieving for Mila yet celebrating Auri. Poor Auri. I didn't want him to be forgotten or feel neglected. I didn't want his day to feel overshadowed by the recent couple of days, but death does cast quite the shadow on things.
So today we made the choice to celebrate Auri. It took intentional effort, but I really wanted him to feel loved. We gave him his gift in the morning (Aaron got him a Toby Mac CD, and he loved it!) My dad took us all out to the Pancake House for brunch, and we forgot about our grief for a little while.
At 2 pm, though, we had an appointment with the cemetery to plan Mila's burial. Again, I felt so bad for Auri, because Aaron and I were gone for 4 hours, but we wanted to make all the necessary burial arrangements as soon as we could. Since we hadn't expected a live birth (not this soon anyway), we didn't have any plans made yet. At 31 weeks, we thought if anything happened, it would be a still birth and a cremation. We are thankful for how the Lord worked things out, and we saw His continued mercy even in the meeting at the cemetery. I had heard from a couple of other moms in similar situations that the cemetery can try to take advantage of you in your emotional distress and charge you with all sorts of hidden fees. I really did not want to be doing business at a time like this, so I prayed for an honest, compassionate person to meet with and I prayed that we would have no negative experiences regarding the funeral arrangements. The Lord kindly answered.
Mila will be buried at Forest Lawn on Tuesday, June 12 at 2pm. Working with this particular cemetery was very peaceful and I never felt ripped off at all. Instead, the cemetery offers very gracious pricing for baby burials. The coordinator we worked with was extremely kind and sensitive. We are thankful to the Lord for His continued mercy toward us, that we could have such a pleasant experience planning such a difficult thing.
When we finally got back home, all I could think about was making sure Auri felt loved on his birthday. After we put the younger 3 in bed, we popped some popcorn, snuggled up with him, and watched all of his baby videos.
Each of our kids needs us in different ways, especially in this current difficult season we're in. Today, one child needed a birthday to be planned while another needed a burial day to be planned. By God's grace, we managed to do both.