Six years ago today on this very day, May 21st, 2016, I buried my 13-month-old son Hudson. Today I graduate from Pacific University with my Bachelor of Social Work. In an alternate universe, the 2016 burial would have never happened and subsequently, I would not walk across a stage receiving my degree. However, it is not an alternate universe, it is reality.
Today I stand for my fellow bereaved parents equipped to fight that they have choices on how, where, and what happens with their children in death just as they do in life.
Today I stand with the ability to fight eloquently to change American grief culture and fight that bereaved families have a voice in their grief and the way their children are remembered.
Today I will stop at nothing to continue to make Hudson proud of me and subsequently all the other babies gone too soon. I will continue to call on the strength it has taken just to wake up every day. I would never choose this path but today I choose to honor the families who have walked this horrible path before me and unfortunately will after.
Today my life looks very different than it did mere days before May 21st, 2016. This is a day that holds many emotions and is riddled with sadness and abundant joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Today on May 21st of this year I celebrate my achievements not only for me, but also for every family that Buzzy’s has touched thus far and the future families I will fight for.