I really wasn't dreading this weekend, I didn't really think about it, I guess. Tom and I went to Good Friday service and that was lovely. Then we went to the Saturday Easter Vigil service. Being relatively new to this whole church thing, I didn't realize that Easter Eve is a traditional time for baptisms. Oh great. This service was two hours long, and I sobbed through the entire thing and tried to be quiet about it. All I could think about was how, a) We were going the next day to see Nate at the cemetery, and that maybe his headstone would be up now, and b) Had he lived, Nate might have been baptized that day, too. My mom had sat with us and after the service, she told me how brave I was. People tell me this all the time, and I'm not sure why. I'm brave because I didn't run screaming out of the church? I cried the entire time, and I was so embarrassed. Had I known there was going to be a bunch of babies and happy, smiling young parents, I wouldn't have gone. You couldn't have dragged me there.
After Easter service we went to the Veterans cemetery where Nate is buried about ten spaces down from his granddad. And his headstone was finally up. We had chosen the Episcopal cross to be engraved at the top and the epitaph to read, Our Sweet Baby Nate. My mother-in-law had been there to place tons of beautifully arranged flowers on both Nate's and my father-in-law's graves. A shiny rock with a heart on it had been buried under the loose dirt around his headstone--I thought that was so sweet, it must have been from one of his little cousins. It was just so surreal, standing there on Easter morning in front of the grave of my dead baby. The whole weekend was surreal. Watching other babies be baptized when my baby was baptized in the NICU, buying Easter lilies for the altar in memory of my dead baby, something that I'll do every year instead of playing Easter bunny to a live Nathaniel, and then standing there on the grave of my baby. I just kept thinking that my husband and I weren't the only one who were sad that day. There were other moms and dads out there who were hurting, too, and for some reason it's really comforting to know that we're not alone in this.
Easter dinner was at my sister's new house with my little nephew who was born three and a half weeks before my son. I love my sister and I love my little nephew, but by that point I was hanging on by a thread. I already felt like I'd been beaten with a baseball bat and I couldn't take much more. If this was Easter, I want to sleep through Christmas.
And that's the end of this badly written and extremely depressing post.