Photo by Jennifer Young-Canton

This weekend we held an Open House to celebrate Joey’s birthday.  The decision to do this instead of a traditional party was an easy one, this was how we were going to celebrate Joey’s life a year ago – after his death.

We spent the last month of my pregnancy trying to decide how we were going to handle the physicality of death.  What could we do to honor him?  How long would we keep his body with us?  We planned to bathe him with oils, love the precious body he chose to live so shortly in.  Who would we invite to spend this time with us?  Who would even be open to it?  When do we call the funeral home?  Would we bury his body, or have him cremated? If we bury him, where?  If we cremate him, where do we spread his ashes?

So many decisions.

What we knew was that we wanted to have a party, to CELEBRATE him, and to invite everyone, to have anyone who felt connected or a need to be with us to do exactly that.

Take a moment to scroll up and look at the picture at the top of this post? This photo was taken as we were singing happy birthday.  Look at the couple in the background.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

That man’s name is Craig Bryce, he owns the funeral home around the corner.  He grew up in this house.  I met him last year while trying to figure out what to do after Joey’s death.  Feel that for a second.  It’s big.

Last week I got to call him and invite him into our home to help celebrate Joey’s life, WITH Joey.  A living, breathing, smiling, laughing, loving Joey.

Feel THAT.  Woah.  Yeah, BIG.

I can’t believe how our community, and the diversity of it, has grown.  The opportunity to share our love with you and to experience how YOU love, was the absolute best way I could have imagined to celebrate life.

We continued to celebrate on Sunday at The Pilates Principle – there was a fundraiser held for our family.  We walked in to see the place packed with people getting massages, taking Pilates classes, shopping for baked goods and clothes – many people who were new, meeting us and Joey for the first time.  Tears, my lord, HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?  How are we so fortunate?  For that, I thank Nuhar and her staff so deeply.  Just for the experience of seeing all of these people supporting us.  The funds they raised in 3 hours was OUTSTANDING.

Everyday we grow.  You, me, this community that we are.  Thank you for being a part of this – my heart and our life.


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