Ezra's weekend was horrible and wonderful all at once. Saturday, the one year anniversary of his death was tough. We made no plans for Saturday, knowing intuitively that we would need to allow the day to just unfold. All day I just felt off, grumpy, sad, moody, just missing my Ezra. I didn't feel like doing much, but I did plan on baking treats for the gathering we were holding on Ezra's birthday. Baking is something I love, something that comes easily, something I wanted to do for my Ezra. So when I destroyed not one, but two separate cakes, it put me over the edge. I sobbed and sobbed, deep wails that haven't come out in months. I sobbed until I felt like I was going to throw up. All those feelings of failure from early on in this grief journey came rushing back...I'm such a screwup that I couldn't protect my Ezra, I can't even bake a cake. Not rational I know.
My sweet David insisted we go on a walk. I didn't want to go, I didn't feel like doing anything, just wanted to feel sorry for myself. He said it was nice out, I thought it looked grey. We started walking, I said it looked like rain, he said no. A few blocks later, I heard the rumble of thunder, he thought the storm was far off. Another couple rumbles later, I insisted we turn back. And a block later, the skies opened. It didn't just rain, it flooded. We were instantly drenched. And despite myself I started to laugh. And suddenly I knew that this was Ezra's way of lightening my mood, of making sure I didn't sink too deeply into my grief. Later I read Angie's post about the rainbow Ezra showed her and her family during the same storm, and I knew it was true.
Sunday, Ezra's first birthday, we gathered with family and friends to unveil Ezra's gravestone. In Jewish tradition, the gravestone is usually placed 11 to 12 months after the burial. Together with our friends and family we sang songs, read prayers, and heard stories and poems which we had chosen for the occasion. Before we read Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, we said out loud the names of many of the babies of our babylost parent friends. It was a gorgeous day in every way imaginable.
At the end of the ceremony, as is tradition, each person attending left stones on Ezra's grave, symbolizing the permanence of his memory. But many more stones were left than people were present, as we experienced a hug that spanned at least 4 continents. Stones, pebbles and shells had been sent by friends across the globe - babylost friends in the blog world, friends in our real lives. It was so incredible to see how many lives our little boy has touched.