I read a quote recently that said "You are the expert of your own grief." It rings true and I need to remember that as I often question if what we are doing or not doing is the "right" thing. This year the right thing for us was to throw a small party for Lila like we have done for her other birthdays. It is very helpful to plan something for her, like we would be doing if she were still here. We had a snowflake theme to represent the "Lila snow" and we decorated the house with handmade snowflakes. It was very soothing for Mike and I to make these in the days leading up to her birthday. We had a make your own snowflake craft for the kids and some of the adults who were there even participated. The friends we had at the party are the perfect people to surround ourselves with as we feel comfortable talking about Lila, but they can also make us laugh when the sadness sets in. We also sprinkled glitter and released balloons like we have done every year and set out a table with some of Lila's things to show off to others.
We felt that this year we also needed to recognize the 8 days she was with us in a better fashion than we did last year. Everyday we made sure to do something in her honor or go somewhere. We visited a lot of places we had gone while I was pregnant with her. The last few days in particular were very busy with visits to the zoo, history museum, Lila's favorite bakery (she did seem to love those Oakmont bakery cookies while I was pregnant), botanical garden, walked around the University of Pittsburgh and of course the mausoleum to visit her. It felt nice and it felt right to do as much as we did this year and I know that Evie enjoyed doing everything for "Wiwa" as she calls her.
I still cannot fathom that it has been 3 years since I last saw her, held her, touched her. My baby was loved so much and wanted and needed in our life. She is missed beyond words.