Somehow—and I have no idea how—Hudson’s birthday is here again. Thursday, December 1 is the day she should be turning three. Three. She would be more than twice the age she was when last we knew her. Three seems so very big to me. So very much kid and so very little toddler anymore. An entirely different person than the little girl who had just barely grown out of her baby fat.
Like so many things during this second year, Hudson’s birthday snuck up on me, in the sense that unlike last year, I have not spent the last few weeks brooding over it and dreading it. I’ve known it was coming, but I haven’t felt like digging my heels in the sand and closing my eyes against it like I did the first time. I have no idea what that means—it must be at least the very beginning of what grief experts call “integration,” although the very idea of that still stops me in my tracks. I don’t want Hudson’s death to be integrated into our lives. Ever. Ultimately, it will happen anyway, and the best I can hope for is to not be psychically kicking and screaming the entire way. So I guess I should be grateful that the passage of time has taken some of the sting out of the coming week. But the way I have been feeling the last day or so is warning me that I am hardly out of the woods.
As we did last year, and as we plan to do for every future year as long as we live, we are going to honor Hudson’s birthday by doing some giving. As I explained last year, the very essence of One Good Thing is finding ways in which something good can come out of something so incredibly awful. We will be doing the same things we did last year (read more about it here): taking Elmo toys and Hudson’s favorite books to Dr. Bear’s Closet at Children’s Hospital, donating some yummy dog treats and toys to the Washington Humane Society, and giving again to the National Arboretum, one of our favorite places to visit with our girl, where we (with the generosity of so many others) have placed a bench in her memory and scattered a small portion of her ashes.
Again, we invite you (and anyone else you think might be interested) to help us celebrate Hudson’s third birthday by doing One Good Thing for the world sometime this week. It can be as simple as paying for a stranger’s coffee or dropping a toy off at your local Angel Tree. Whatever moves you will be a wonderful tribute to our sweet girl on her birthday. Like last year, if you are so inclined, please leave a comment here on the blog to share with us what you did. And please feel free to share this with anyone else you think might be interested.
As I said last year, we can’t stop it from coming. We can’t bring Hudson back. But in the spirit of the lesson she taught us, we can continue to help her light shine in the world by finding the One Good Thing, and this week, that means doing One Good Thing.