The day was quiet. For Wylie's first birthday, we ordered a cake and celebrated her life around her memorial tree with friends. This year, quieter felt better. A day of reflection felt best, spent as a family.
As we did for her first birthday and will forever, we asked for friends and family to honor Wylie's life through random acts of kindness or donations to charity. As loss parents, it is our greatest fear that Wylie will be forgotten by the world. To my surprise, my social media feeds and text messages were flooded throughout the day with people remembering Wylie. Donations to charities in her name to help others, random acts of kindness and remembrances of her short life all came in from sun up until sun down. A friend's yoga studio began a pay it forward train in Wylie's name, even posting her name onto their Facebook page. Knowing how many smiles her name brought, well, it was sunshine in our cloudy day. I vowed when the day began to not focus or dwell upon those who have forgotten but to focus on those who remembered.
And so, so many remembered.
Of course, there is heartbreak. "Baby Wylie will never get to play with Carmen," Ethan said as we snuggled up on the couch. He's right. She won't. She won't get to experience life's simple joys, like feeling the sun on her skin or the waves of the ocean crashing against her legs. She won't get to laugh at a silly Internet meme or hear a song that tugs on her heart and impacts her profoundly with it's melody. She won't get to fall in love, experience her first heartbreak or start a family of her own. The she won'ts will forever take over the she will's simply because her heart was so very broken. There's no sense in it just as much as there will never be justice.
Thank you to everyone who remembered our little girl on her birthday. Thank you to everyone who spoke her name and wrapped us up in the warmth of your remembrance. Thank you for loving her, for loving us, for holding us close and helping us battle the isolation that often accompanies loss. Thank you for your kindness, for your generosity, for the good you've permeated into the world in her honor. On a hard day, you softened our fall. We added twelve more pages into her baby book thanks to you all and that, well, it brings me peace.
Grief comes in waves. I was first told this in the moments before my labor began by a grief counselor who held my hand with a sweet smile as if nothing could break her supportive stride. She would be right. The waves were especially tumultuous yesterday but yet we were able to walk safely out of the sea.