Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Happy Birthday Sweet Jack

Today our first born, Jack Jorgenson Schichtel would have been eight. 

Eight! 

Crazy. 

But today is not my hardest day.

Yesterday was my hardest day. It was yesterday, eight years ago that we learned our baby, that we came into the hospital to give birth to, had no heartbeat but still somehow needed to get out of my belly. 

Yesterday, eight years ago, was quite awful.

But yesterday…yesterday…..Hubby and I got up at 4:45 in the morning and packed up our bikes to ride Idaho Springs to Arapaho Basin. At 5:30 we were in the truck, bikes in the back and coffee cups in hand. As we watched the sun rise, I patted his leg. 

“Eight years ago today really sucked,” I said. 

“Yeah,” he said. “No matter how hard today is. It will never be as hard as that day.” 

Nope, I thought, It never will. I could climb Loveland Pass 1,000 times.

But I felt so grateful, that in some crazy way, we were riding out our grief together. 

So we rode. And every once in a while I would think “Wow, at this point, eight years ago, we knew Jack had died.” or “Wow, eight years ago, I was checked into the hospital.” 

But most times I thought “Wow, today this bike group is kicking my butt.”  

Or “Wow, Loveland Pass at this point of view looks really high.” 

Or, “My thighs really stinkin’ hurt.” 

Because I’ve I said before, thighs yell louder than grief when they are really, really angry.

And so we rode, Hubs and I, up to Loveland Pass: 


Today, we woke up and kissed each other. 

“Happy Jack’s Birthday.” 

Tonight we celebrated….






I have a ring that is a frog (Jack’s animal) he came along with us and enjoyed some creme’ brulee. 



And we talked about little signs that our kiddos are still around….two doves in the garden, a callous on my hand that looks like a heart, a crazy fledgling robin that won’t leave our yard……I KNOW, I’m a freak…but this is what I need to hear the night of Jack’s eighth birthday.

Grief is hard. Sometimes you need to climb a mountain and eat some creme’ brulee with a frog. 

The best part is to celebrate in some crazy way, with Hubs. For that, I am forever grateful. 

Happy Birthday Dear Boy. 

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Sweet Jack”

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