Petey's due date on Friday was okay. The first thing I did when I woke up was sit and write a letter to him. I had more to say than I knew. It took a long time. But it gave me a bit of a sense of relief too. I just wrote and wrote and didn't think. I got it all out of my head and when finished I folded it up and tucked it into my pocket instead of burying it under his tree like I had intended. I'm not sure why.
Then I went to the butterfly sanctuary. I wasn't sure if this was a good plan or not (especially when I pulled in and saw so many parents with small children) but I went in and I am SO GLAD I did. I don't really know how to explain the experience except to say that it felt magical. It was like walking into another world. It was so lush and humid with all kinds of beautiful and exotic plants and flowers, a koi pond with waterfall, the sun streaming through the glass ceiling, and the butterflies. There were SO MANY butterflies. They were all around, fluttering and dipping and diving and chasing each other. They just seemed so happy and carefree. I got choked up a few times while I was there, not thinking just about Petey but about all the little angels to whom so many of us have had to say goodbye. There were two beautiful butterflies in particular that were a vivid blue and kept catching my attention. They were chasing one another and seemed to be playing together and I just could not get Krystal's boys, Conner and Ben, out of my head every time I saw them. I like to think that maybe all our angels are playing together: Petey and Rowan and Ninja and Conner and Ben and Jack and Lexus' Ben and Ana and Colton and Serenity and so so many others that we have lost. I like to think they are happy and carefree now like the butterflies seemed to be.
I thought about taking pictures while I was there but in the end I decided it was more about me having the experience and living in the moment than about capturing/documenting it so here is the one picture I took:
It was a nice experience.
On the way out I bought a few little momentos including a butterfly kite. I thought maybe when we have a rainbow someday it would be nice to fly this kite with her/him every year on Petey's special day.
After that I did end up going to BuyBuyBaby. I walked around a lot and touched little baby things, thinking of Petey, seeing items that I had intended to buy for him or that were already on the registry I had created for him. I looked for pictures and toys and other things with butterflies and/or rainbows but nothing felt quite right to me. In the end I didn't leave with anything but that's okay. It was still kind of nice to just walk around and remember how I felt the previous times I was there when I was PG with Petey and shopping for him.
By that point I was starving so I decided I'd have "Petey's lunch". When I was pregnant with him I craved hamburgers and lemonade all day every day so I decided I would have those in his honor. It was not good, hahaha! Apparently I am not craving those things with this baby (yet - or maybe never) but it was nice to have that last meal "with him" while thinking of him and remembering.
Afterwards I had planned to go get a pedicure and have them paint a butterfly on my toe. I never made it. As I was driving, I passed a big ball field/park that's not too far from my house and made the snap decision to pull in and fly the butterfly kite I had bought earlier. The whole park was deserted which was A) surprising as it is usually packed and B) perfect because I wanted this time to feel connected to Petey and feel my feelings without other people around. I'm so glad I chose to do this. This was the best experience of the day. It was just breezy enough for the kite to fly and I have to say, I had FUN. I spent a good amount of time running around as fast as possible trying to get (and then keep) that kite up in the air, laughing and panting.... At one point my pants fell down while I was running so it was a very good thing I was alone! Haha! It was fun. I felt connected to Petey and felt like we were doing this together. Every time I would encourage that kite to go higher and higher it was like I was encouraging him to climb higher and higher. Even though I was alone I truly did feel like his spirit was with me and I was very grateful for the experience. When I finally went back to the car I caught my reflection in the window and saw a red, sweaty face, crazy fly-away hair and a big smile.
Thank you for a fun time, Petey.
When I climbed back into the car I let my breathing return to normal and thought about what had just happened. I felt like that was the only time he and I (Mother and child) actually played together and had fun together. Like we connected and I was able to do something for him that both he and I appreciated. Maybe that's hard for anyone who has not experienced a loss like this to understand but it was powerful for me and made me very emotional. I decided to take out the note I wrote to him earlier and read it aloud to him and to the open field. I cried while reading it aloud and then sobbed for a long time when I finished. It was powerful. I wasn't really conscious of what I was writing while I wrote it but reading and hearing it aloud made it real. It was painful and beautiful and inspired and raw and true. I hope he heard it. I hope he knows how much I love him and how sorry I am for everything.
After that, I was completely wiped out so I went home and napped for a couple hours. Hubs woke me at dinnertime. We had planned to go out to dinner that night in memory/celebration but I wasn't feeling it anymore so we ordered in and just watched some TV the rest of the night. It ended up being a pretty good day. Emotional and difficult but also peaceful.
I'm glad that this milestone has passed. Even though I am now PG with a different baby, I have still felt like this entire time since March has belonged to Petey since his EDD hadn't arrived yet. He still deserved this time to be celebrated and mourned and focused upon. Now his EDD has passed. I feel like a phase of my grief has ended. I do feel a bit of closure. In my letter, I asked Petey to help me be okay while I now start to focus on the future and look towards our rainbow. I hope he heard me.
~*~* Finally, I know I say this a lot but I just want to say again how truly THANKFUL I am for all of you. The love and support I have received from my IDOB and Loss and Blog and SAIF ladies has lifted and carried me over these past 4 months. I am so grateful to you all for continuing to let me know that you care and that you remember Petey. It means so much every day but especially on this extremely difficult day. You are wonderful and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Thank you. *~*~