Saturday, October 6, 2012

sometimes amazing things happen

I went to work the other day and found out that one of my co-workers is an apprentice at the tattoo shop in the town I live in.  We started talking a little and I mentioned that my father-in-law got a tattoo at that shop somewhat recently.  He asked me what it was of, and I mentioned it was a ladybug.

Now, I knew that the odds were good that he would probably know about it, and I felt bad bringing it up (I haven't told everyone that I worked with about Catelyn), but wasn't prepared for what he would say next.  It turns out he actually drew the sketch for my father-in-law's tattoo!

To me, it's incredibly cool that someone I know (even if they didn't know at the time that they knew the family) was the artist for such a sentimental tattoo. 

Seems like it was meant to be....

Unexpected gifts

Catelyn's bouquet at the edge of her garden.
Recently, my husband and I attended our cousin's wedding. 

About two weeks before her death, Catelyn was asked to be the flower girl in that wedding, and while I wanted very much to go to the wedding, I also knew that it would be hard to endure.

As we walked into the church, I immediately saw a picture of my baby on a side table, and knew the picture was there to remember her life.  What a special gift.

I teared up as the 'replacement' flower girl walked down the aisle, and tried not to lose it as the bride came down (weddings usually make me teary anyway, with all that love pressed into one moment).  I eventually cried, as one of my favorite songs was sung, but tried not to let it show too much.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom released each of the aisles.  As they approached us, I lost it.  The ceremony was so perfect, the bride was so stunning, the couple was so happy, but my heart wasn't completely in it because I missed Catelyn so much. 

I wondered what Catelyn would've been like as she strolled down the aisle at the church...would she have stopped to greet her grandparents on the way down?  Would she have been too intimidated to go all of the way down the aisle?  Would she have hammed it up?  Would she have remembered to throw the petals down? 

The ceremony was a mixture of silly, sweet and fun.  The matron of honor (sister of the groom) gave a beautiful speech, and mentioned that it was hard because there was someone missing who should've been there.  My thoughts went to Catelyn, though I knew she wasn't speaking of her.  She was actually speaking of her grandfather, but the words were perfect, and my eyes filled with tears yet again. 

At the end of the night, as we talked with friends, and told the bride how breathtaking she looked, we received a surprise.  The bride asked if we had been given Catelyn's bouquet.  I was stunned.  I replied we had not, and the bride handed me a miniature bouquet wrapped in the same silky ribbon as the bridesmaids bouquets.  She said that she had specifically created a bouquet for Catelyn with a butterfly tucked into it, and wanted to be sure that we received it.  My heart was overflowing. 

There are so many details that go into wedding planning, and to know that Catelyn was remembered within that planning was so wonderfully touching. 

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the bride and groom, Catelyn was still a part of her first wedding.

Celebration Blahs

My birthday was last's forever 15 days after Catelyn's angel-versary, so it's not really a day I enjoy anymore, which is kind of sad, because I used to LOVE birthdays.

On Thursday this week, I was talking with a friend, as we went out for my post-birthday celebration.  We were talking about lots of things, and Halloween came up on the list.  I said that I don't know that I'll be up for it this year.

Celebrations really aren't fun for me anymore.  Instead of creating happy feelings, they tend to stir up a bunch of emotions that don't match the intended mood.  Birthdays and weddings (a time of joy and celebration) remind me that Catelyn doesn't get to have those things, Christmas and Thanksgiving (a time for friends and family) remind me that my family isn't all here, and days for laughter and silliness (such as Halloween) aren't fun because my heart is broken, and I don't want to be silly.

As we talked about Halloween, I said that if Halloween was a holiday that allowed people to be sad and depressed, I would probably love it so much right now.  We could dress like death, and feel sad, and it would be marvelous!

Then we giggled at the idea of a purposefully sad holiday that allowed us to feel gloomy, hurt, let down, angry, and all of the other things that happen with grief.

I realize that the idea may sound inappropriate to some, but the twisted and bereaved side of me thinks it's a fantastic idea.  It is likely that those who haven't lost someone close to them won't care as much, but I think that those who have would love the opportunity for it to be 'okay' to be sad and broken one day out of the year.  At this point in my grief, I would absolutely look forward to that day.  A day not insistent in laughing, fun, silliness or smiles (though if those things happened while remembering our loved ones, that would be fine).  It would also be fine to cry or sob, scream, sit around in your jammies all day long, look at pictures, pull out all of their things, watch videos and more.  I can honestly say I would look forward to that date.

Then again, one day is not really enough...perhaps it should be a week....  :)