A Year Has Past

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It has been over a year since we lost Cohen.  I can’t believe it has been over a year since I touched his sweet face, kissed his chubby little cheek, held his tiny little hand, and smelled his soft skin.  A year since I sang to him and dripped tears onto his cheeks.  A year since my heart was broken and my dreams for my third child were crushed.

I still have days where it feels like I can’t breathe.  That I just can’t handle life.  That I just can’t go on.  Days where the tears keep falling.  Where I feel like I just can’t go on.  Where I feel overwhelmed with the thought of living the rest of my life without seeing Cohen’s sweet little face.  I still have those days but they are not quite as frequent as they used to be.

I cried the other day while I was making dinner.  Cried because I missed having someone clinging to my leg, crying, and begging for attention while I was cooking dinner.  I know that if Cohen were here actually doing that it would be driving me crazy but he’s not and it made me sad to think of what should be.

I still have moments where it really hits me that this happened to me.  That this is not all just some crazy dream.  That I am not watching a movie of someones life, that this is my life.  That I really am living out my worst nightmare and that I am somehow surviving.

I still don’t like going into Cohen’s room.  Even thought the room has changed, all the baby things put away and been painted a different color, it still is hard for me to go in “his” room.  The door to the room is open but I rarely go in.

I still cry at least a little everyday for my littlest man.  A song will come on the radio that will hit me or I’ll be in the shower and I will just think about Cohen and the tears come.

I still ache for him when we do special family things that he should be here for.  On the Fourth of July we went to see fireworks.  I thought this year, the second year without Cohen would be easier.  But it wasn’t.  This year he would have been old enough to actually like the fireworks or be scared of them.  He would have been toddling after his brothers chasing lighting bugs.  He would have been laughing and having fun with his brothers.  This second Fourth of July was not any easier than the first, in fact in some ways it was harder.

I still miss Cohen and always will.  I still think of him every single day.  I still dream of what our life should be like.  I still ache to hold him.  Still miss kissing him goodnight.  Miss watching him grow.  Miss hearing him learn to talk.  Miss hearing him fight with his brothers.  Miss the craziness that our life would be with three boys.

Remembering Cohen

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I didn’t want Cohen’s one year to just go by without doing anything. I knew I wanted to be with my friends and family that had supported us the past year. I wanted to have a remembrance for everyone who love us and loved and looked forward to having Cohen here. I also knew that for my husband, who tends to want to be alone on the harder days, that this would be something he might not want to do. We talked about it for a long time and finally decided that we would have a remembrance on June 7, exactly one year after we lost Cohen.

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I knew I wanted a huge cake for Cohen. While we plan to have small cakes every year for him with just our family, I knew this would be the only time we would ever buy a special cake to share with lots of people. I wanted the cake to have meaning and to taste and look amazing. And it did! The sun is on the cake because the last song I sang to Cohen before we left the hospital was, “You are my Sunshine.” The two small butterflies on the cake represent Cole, the green butterfly, and Carson, the blue butterfly. The red butterfly that is flying away represents our very close friends son who passed away from cancer just 9 months before Cohen. The yellow butterfly represents Cohen. The words on the tree, “Forever Loved, Always Missed, Never Forgotten,” are the words on Cohen’s grave stone.

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The day before Cohen’s remembrance was one of the hardest days that I had in a long time. I just sat and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. It was like reliving that horrible day over and over again. I felt like I could hardly take care of Cole and Carson. Eventually I drug myself off the sofa and made myself go out with the boys so I would stop thinking and focus on something else.

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The actual day of Cohen’s one year was not as bad as the day before. I was so busy preparing for the remembrance that night that I hardly had time to think. We had planned to have the remembrance outside in an open pavilion at a park close to our house. It poured that day. Not just a shower but tons and tons of rain. We didn’t have a back up plan. A good friend suggested that we call the church and see if we could use one of their rooms. We called but figured there was no way there would be a room open because usually you have to plan a few months in advance. Thankfully our churches Cafe was available. We spent the next hour or so calling, texting, e-mailing, and Facebook messaging people to let them know of the change of plans.

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My husband and I went to Cohen’s grave alone that day. You can still see where they dug out the ground for his tiny coffin. We placed twelve sunflowers there. We stood in the rain and cried for our tiny son who should have been turning one that day.

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That evening we went to the church Cafe. It was hard to be there in the Cafe because just a year before we were in that same room, eating a meal after the service at the gravesite. Most of the same people were there a year later.

People wrote notes to Cohen on balloons and we released them

People wrote notes to Cohen on balloons and we released them

The night was extremely hard. It was hard to think that this should have been a first birthday party but the guest of honor wasn’t there.

My friend grew sunflowers in her garden and each family could take one to plant in remembrance of Cohen

My friend grew sunflowers in her garden and each family could take one to plant in remembrance of Cohen019

I also felt extremely blessed that night. Over 100 people came to support us and to show us that they love us. I felt so loved that night. I cried with people that night who loved us and hurt with us and for us. That was the reason I wanted to have the remembrance for Cohen. I needed to be with people who loved us, who cared about us, and supported us. It was a hard night but a good night.

I have some amazing friends who provided all of the food!  They really were amazing and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them.

I have some amazing friends who provided all of the food! They really were amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

My mom made this fruit butterfly

My mom made this fruit butterfly