This is my wee niece’s birthday cake. She requested a dinosaur cake. My sister baked a Victoria sponge and we decorated it together. It was our first attempt at sugar craft and we spent a very calm couple of hours rolling and molding the sugar paste to create our very friendly looking dinosaur. Conor was even remembered in the star shaped balloon. My niece was one very happy customer showing her cake off to anyone who came to visit.
It’s just over a month away from the anniversary of Conor’s short life and death. I have been told that time heals. However, no bereaved parent has ever uttered these words to me. They tell me the broken heart never fully heals but you get better at living with it. I’ve also been told the first of everything is the hardest. What people do not realise is that I am faced with a lifetime of firsts. I am the mother of what should be a nearly 1 year old little boy cruising the furniture. I grieve not only for the baby I buried but the first smile, first tooth, first steps, first words, first day at school, first love, first exams, first job and a lifetime of family celebrations. I heard when a parent dies you grieve for your past and when a child dies you grieve for your future. When pregnant I planned a very different future. I know that grieving for my son is not going to be a smooth ride. There is a lifetime of milestones and firsts ahead of us.
As we approach Conor’s first anniversary I am reminded of how friends and family have talked about their children’s first birthdays. I’ve been told that they view it as a chance to celebrate surviving their first year as parents. They have spent the year with little sleep, they haven’t known if they are coming or going and they feel changed. I too am going to try to use this milestone to celebrate how Conor’s Daddy and I have survived this year which has changed us more than we ever could have imagined. All I have to do now is plan Conor’s first birthday cake. . .