Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7 Months and a "Birthday"/Celebration of Life

I was either going to post a really simple blog tonight or wait until morning and post 2 tomorrow -- but my mind was quickly changed.

Today marked 7 months without Spencer. I didn't think about it too much today, really. Kept my mind busy with the kiddos that I watch and had a great time today. After I got home I went to get my hair cut, got home and ate, played Mario Kart with my sister, and then took a long walk. It was something I was trying to keep off my mind and I thinkI did well.

I think that 6 months was some kind of unknown goal for me. If I could get through 6 months, I'm half way through all of the "firsts" that I would encounter. If I got that far, I would be "okay". So 7 months is finally making it completely over the first big hump and now is the LONG stretch to get through the very first year without Spence. I know that I'm nearing some very difficult months ahead. September through December is when our lives stopped. My world ceased to turn. I barely made it out of the hospital and I seemingly disappeared for awhile. Those moments that I vividly remember from the hospital are going to really rush back to me here in a few months. I'm definitely not looking forward to them, but then again I just want to say "bring it on" so that I can get them over with and get on with a new year.
Ugh is it sad that I'm already dreading those months coming up.... One day at a time, Nikki.
But anyway... I think the "month" mark is getting easier each month. Of course the 11 holds a lot of bad memories for me and I always think about the day I lost Spence -- but I'm able to cope better. This is a huge accomplishment for me. As long as we can get through the 11th without something bad happening... I think I'll be okay. I still sometimes almost expect something to go wrong on the 11th of each month. I mean I lost 3 people on the 11th within 8 months... Those thoughts are going to be there for awhile -- but thankfully they are better.

The 12th of July was a special day -- it was Spencer's birthday. Tomorrow he should be turning 24 years old... instead he stays a young 23. Before just a few minutes ago, I wasn't really worried about his birthday. I haven't been planning for it. Haven't been thinking about it. Haven't been expecting it. I just figured that I'd try to forget about it. I thought that tomorrow I would stay busy, just like today, and it would be okay. I honestly didn't think it would be a huge deal like every widow says it has been for them. Ohhh how naive I can be.

But unlike the 11th of the month when no one reminds you that it marks one more month of being without Spencer... the 12th of July, Spencer's birthday is something that everyone remembers (thanks facebook....) and you're reminded about every second.

I got on facebook after I came down to my room tonight. Was scrolling through my newsfeed when all of a sudden my stomach lurched and I kind of felt the world stop for a split second. Someone wished my husband a happy birthday.

It all hit me like a brick wall. Spencer's birthday is tomorrow. He isn't here to celebrate it. To celebrate how HUGE of a deal it is that a terminally ill person turned another year older. He isn't here to turn 24, nor will he ever be here again to enjoy a birthday.

I feel sad. And I feel quite angry... hurt. All the reminders are painful for me -- SO SO much more than I thought they would be. Again... I was very naive about this.

I don't want you to refrain posting on his wall for his birthday. Please, please don't. Shower it with love and happy birthday wishes!!!

In fact, I think I'm going to turn tomorrow into a little celebration of life. 
So if you think about it, and wish to join in -- please go to your local store, grab a balloon (red was his favorite color!!) and release it. Please. For me. For Spencer. Celebrate the wonderful life that he lived and remember the special person that he was. 

And if anyone is near the Orem area, feel free to go to the Orem City Cemetery to visit his grave. I really, REALLY wish that I could tomorrow... but soon enough I will when I'm living there again. Tell him I say Happy Birthday =) ;-)


  1. Nikki, I will most definatly be celebrating his birthday.
    Also, I remembered the 11th.
    How did you get your haircut? how short is it? If you have time, please post pictures.
    Love you.

    1. I like my haircut for the most part -- I'm just not sure how to style it quite yet. It's not that short in length but the layers in the back are quite short! I will post pics when I can! =)

  2. Aw, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I went through my 'first year' last year with the death of my father. I know it's not quite the same, but I can sympathize with you when you say how naive you are about these impending dates. Some you aren't expecting to affect you kick you in the ass and other's you have been dreading just slide by.

    One day at a time. Allow yourself to be sad and angry and smile for what once was too. Good luck trudging through the clay of the first year.

    1. Thank you Missy! The year of firsts is rough since you're still trying to navigate through this new life without your loved one. It's always nice to know that there is always someone else who feels these same things and that I'm not alone. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  3. So, sorry for your loss, Nikki. I'm glad you had the time with him you did -- Your post brought me to tears. Very touching. I've been meaning to take my kids to their grandparents grave site, it's been a while since our last visit. We generally take balloons with us when we go, sometimes the boys will color them pictures as well. I'll be sure we pick up a red balloon to release for you and Spencer.

    1. Melissa, thank you! Our time together was so fulfilling and I'm so thankful that he was in my life. A balloon release is a wonderful way to celebrate your loved ones life -- It's a tradition here! That and side walk chalk. I always take some chalk to Spencer's grave with me to cheer it up a little bit. Comforting and relaxing for me to do. Take care!

  4. I am sorry for your loss. I watched my mom suffer through the first year after losing my dad (though, obviously, not at a young age), then I had the horrible first year after losing my mom. And, just about a week ago, my father-in-law passed, so now my husband begins his first year without someone so important to him. Obviously, each loss is different, and what you feel is not the same as what others have felt. But I can tell you can survive. Sometimes, like today, it's by keeping busy. And sometimes it's by simply taking time to remember and feel and cry, but you can survive. And while I won't go so far as to say it ever gets *easy*, it does get *easier*, as you're discovering already. So, feel what you feel tomorrow during this celebration of Spencer, and continue down your healing path. And, know that many thoughts will be with you.

    1. I am sorry for your losses. It's so hard to adjust after one loss, let alone so many in such a short time. I appreciate your kind words -- you're so right. I have survived this far, and will continue to do so while overcoming all of the obstacles that are thrown my way.