Sunday, July 24, 2011

Holy Stress!!

So, big changes are in store over in our little household. We are currently in the process of turning our lives upside down. What's going on, you ask? Well, let me tell you...

1. We are selling our business. We have owned our own business for the last 5 years but have now decided to sell it. The sale is almost finalized (phawoo!).

2. Our house is up for sale. Wish us luck that we are able to sell it in the time frame we need and for a price that isn't too depressing.

3. We are up and moving from British Columbia to Ontario. We used to live in Ontario but moved out west 6 years ago. We love it here but it just makes sense to move back to Ontario. Both sides of our family live there, houses are cheaper, cost of living is cheaper, etc. We'll miss our wonderful friends here and the gorgeous surroundings and climate, but we've got to do what is 'best' for our little family. (Trust me, this took some getting used to the idea!).

So what does all this mean for me in respect to Benjamin? Well, it's weird. I didn't think it would be all that hard. It's not like we buried him here or spread any ashes or anything. His ashes are still in a little box by our bed (apart from what is in my necklace). There is no specific place that I go to to think about him. No place in town that I overly associate with him. So, yeah, I thought it wouldn't be all that hard. I was wrong.

I was driving home from work one night shortly after we made all these decisions and just started bawling. Why is it that the tears come so freely when you are driving alone in the car? I started thinking about how excited we were when we started this business, how we had all these dreams and expectations of how the business would grow. And now it was ending (for us anyways). It was like a death of a child in a sense. We started this business roughly at the same time that I got pregnant with Jackson (okay, not 'roughly', it was basically the same month) so this business was like our first child. Sounds corny, yes, but on that night it just felt like I was going through another death of a loved one. And all it made me do was think about Benjamin.

That brought up all the issues that the move will create with Benjamin and his what I have done in his memory. The support group, the Benjamin Boxes, the friends here that have helped me through the dark days and helped me celebrate the good days. How can I just stop all of that? But how can I continue it in a province that he wasn't even born in? It just doesn't seem right. I've had a few weeks to figure some things out and here's what I've come up with.

The Support group - I have talked to the regular members and they have agreed to keep the group going. Currently it is held in the conference room at my business so they'll have to find a new location. But they are definitely continuing it so that makes me feel better.

Benjamin Boxes - I have made a few more and dropped them off. I will be putting together as many as I can before I move (oh yeah, this move will most likely be in September/October, lol!). My hope is that I can supply them with enough boxes to last at least the rest of the year (hopefully more). I have also talked to a few of the members of my support group and one of them may be willing to take over the boxes for me. When I get to Ontario I may look into offering them at the local hospital there but it depends on what services they already offer to bereaved families. I will still stay involved in Benjamin Boxes, but someone else will become the contact for them.

I have received many generous donations for Benjamin Boxes. The contents of the boxes are mainly donated so I have more money than I need for boxes at the moment. I wanted to donate something else to the room, besides just the boxes. I spoke with the social workers at the hospital and we came up with a donation that I am very pleased with. I will be donating a digital camera, printer, ink, photo paper, and SD cards. The idea is that the social workers will take photos of the babies and then print out one photo for the families to have immediately and be given an SD card with the rest of the images so that they can print off more photos if they wish. The social workers will also be able to allow the families to use the camera while they are there to capture any images they want. Currently the babies are photographed by Media Services and the families are given one photo. The families also have the option of having Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (volunteer organization that takes beautiful professional photos, like all the photos I have on this site). But by giving the families a camera they are free to take any photos they wish. For instance, I wish I had full body shots of Benjamin undressed. I hate that I can't remember every inch of his body. I can't remember what his thighs looked like, what his belly looked like, his little baby bum, etc. I want other families to have the option to 'remember' every spot on their little ones. I have already purchased the printer and we have lots of paper from our business. Now I have to decide on a camera.

As for my friends that have helped me through this? I will keep this site going (ha, not hard at the rate I've been posting!) and every year I will continue to do a Random Act of Kindness Day in Benjamin's memory. I may be thousands of kilometers away, but what's a couple kilometers among friends when you've got access to the internet?

One thing I have a bit of a hard time about is that this house, this town, this city are where I was pregnant with Benjamin. Where all of our dreams for him were born. Where we looked with excitement and joy on his upcoming birth. It's also where we found out he had died and had to come to terms with that. But it's also where he was born. Where we first got to see him, hold him, kiss him. When we move I won't have any physical reminders of him. I won't pass by the field that was ablaze with daisies when I was pregnant with him. I won't see my friend whose daughter is almost the exact age as Benjamin should be. I won't go to the hospital where he was born. I won't see people who knew him, who held him and touched him and know how beautiful and perfect he was. When I move any friends I make will only know of him as a distant memory. Something that happened to me long before they knew me. He'll just be an idea. Here they saw him growing in my belly, saw my ultrasound photos, held my hand and comforted me when he was born, marveled at how perfect he was in his photos, and they were there to cry with me over the unfairness of his death. They knew him. And even though he wasn't born alive he lives on in each of them. It'll be impossible to get that with a new group of friends. People who haven't lost a baby just don't understand. They usually think that it is something that time heals. I had a baby but he died before birth, three years ago. Three years is a long time. And I've had another child since. Therefore I must be okay. It must not hurt my heart still. After all, I have the millionaires family. I have my boy and girl. Why would my heart hurt?

So that's what's new with me...

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