Here it is. Everything you have wanted to know about Tristan’s end of life celebration. You all have read Tristan’s birth story and you’ve followed us along through some of our journey in the NICU, and we recently shared that Tristan passed a short time ago. I’ve spent the last few weeks figuring out how to navigate my way through my “new” life and trying to make sense of everything that has happened. It’s taken me a while to sit down and write this post but I’ve figured that it’s time. We’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends and family and let’s be real, it starts to get annoying after a while. Some people are genuinely concerned but others are just nosey as hell. Anyways, I’m writing an update for everyone and sharing all of the details about Tristan’s end of life celebration.
I’ve never been fond of funerals. I hate the word and honestly I never understood why people would want to gather in a room full of people sobbing. Yes, losing a loved one is sad. It’s more than sad. There aren’t even any words to describe how I feel as a mother losing her son. The best way that I can describe it is as having your heart broken, and I don’t mean like breaking up with your high school crush heart break. I mean a broken heart that will never heal. I will never get Tristan back. I won’t get to see him crawl or walk or run. I won’t get to be cranky because his first word was probably going to be dada. All I can do is get through this tornado that seems to have taken over my life.
We chose to have Tristan’s end of life celebration instead of a funeral for a few reasons. The first being, like I said, that I hate the world funeral. The second being that most people in attendance never got the pleasure to meet Tristan, to hold him, to see his beautiful smile. I didn’t want people coming to read scriptures and say words about Tristan that they don’t even know to be true. I didn’t want a repeat of what we had been dealing with from people our entire time in the NICU. Needless to say it happened anyways because my family is so extra.
We started with a viewing of Tristan. He was dressed to the nines in his clean white suit and Florida State tie. My husband just had to have some type of FSU something but I’m glad he did because it was the perfect touch. We chose not to put socks on him because he hated them. Plus, he had the cutest toes so we didn’t want to cover them up. We decorated the hall with purple balloons, photos of Tristan, and a memory box that I made the night before with some of his favorite things to put on display. Honestly, making the memory box was therapeutic. I loved getting to make something that would remind us of Tristan forever. There were also flowers, tons of flowers. I’m so grateful for the amount of people who came and sent flowers to send our baby boy home to God.
After everyone said goodbye to TJ, I read his eulogy that I had written two nights before. We had a special crafts table in the lounge for all of the kids that were at Tristan’s celebration. The craft table was Tatiana’s idea of course and it was the best idea ever. She wanted the other kids to make cards for her brother to show him how much he was loved. The decorated the cards with space ships because besides giraffes, those were his favorite.
Once all of the cards were made and the goodbyes were said, we all went outside to do a balloon release. We chose purple for prematurity awareness. This is when I knew that Tristan was there with us that day. Rain was in the forecast but it was just gloomy the entire day. It started to sprinkle lightly when we went outside to release the balloons. It was like Tristan and God were sending me a sign that day that everything was going to be okay because he’s no longer struggling. Everyone released their balloons. My husband released his last after all of the other balloons were long gone. Boy oh boy, did that balloon take off. I truly believe that balloon represented TJ and it sprinkled just at the perfect time. After it was all over, the rain stopped and the sun came out. If that’s not a sign from God then I don’t know what is.
Stupid people aside, Tristan’s end of life celebration was perfect. It was just 4 short days after his passing so the planning moved quickly. I couldn’t have envisioned a more perfect home going for my sweet baby boy.
Yesterday, after 8 long weeks of waiting we received Tristan’s autopsy report. We won’t be sharing that for a very, very long time as it is something that we are choosing to keep private. We’re not telling anyone the results, not even our families so please respect that. Please don’t email, call or text asking us what happened. Just know that we have answers but still a lot of pieces to the puzzles that we are putting together. I’ll be sharing TJ’s eulogy on the blog soon so stay tuned for that.