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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.