I’ve had a few people ask me what we have planned for Odin’s birthday (which is coming up so quick). The last two weeks were kind of rough (which is relative, I know). But this week I’m feeling pretty good and have come up with a bunch of things I think I’d like to try doing for Odin’s birthday. It’s such an important day with so many heavy feelings and I’ve been really struggling to figure out what to do on that day. The easiest thing (and my plan in the deep dark bubble of last week) was to give in to how sad it is that he’s not here and just stay home in bed crying, looking at his pictures, cuddling Kornflake (the bear we got from the hospital). I know that sounds awful, but it’s honestly the easiest and safest thing to do.

But, somehow, the darkness lifted a bit and I got the energy and inspiration to come up with some things I’d like to do. Things that I hope I can keep up the nerve and energy for next week. Life has become a constant and never-ending battle between the sadness of losing our baby and the love and joy of being his mother. The feelings are honestly the hardest thing to explain and they’re going on in my head and my heart at absolutely every moment. It is super exhausting but at times it can also be empowering. No matter how you slice it, though, it is more than anyone should have to deal with.

There is an artist in Montreal named Sarah Mangle and she has this incredible Affirmations Colouring Book that I’ve found very comforting. Sarah posted a picture on her Instagram account of one of her drawings with words that resonate with me like no other sentiment has: “There are many ways I think of you.” It’s a simple idea, for sure, and I’ve read so many inspirational and sad infant loss quotes that it would make your head spin. But this is a phrase that I think sums it all up. I’m so grateful for her artwork and, specifically, for writing this one simple line that is my whole heart.

My plan next Thursday is to share on social media (Instagram anyway) our Special Odin Day. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to accomplish any of it so don’t hold me to this. But if he were here with us you can bet I’d be spamming you so hard with cute cake-eating pics, funny faces and outfits. The alternative is not at all what I want, but it’s what I’ve got. And the love is the same. There are many ways I think of him.

Posted with permission. Artwork by Sarah Mangle.

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