Dear Courageous Mama,
The snow is falling steadily out my window right now, this Christmas morning. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years was always my favorite time of year, and a White Christmas signified the most magical of Christmases. Even when we didn’t have a white Christmas outside, we always watched White Christmas at some point on Christmas Day.
Then our son, Patrick, died. This is our fourth Christmas without him. After he died, Christmas became a chore–just something to get through–especially those first two years. We’ve gone through the motions, hoping to “fake it till we make it.”
Even though this year has been better and a little magic has returned, I still dream of a Christmas with both of my children. It’s impossible to not dream and wonder.
But, instead of having all of our children, we’re left to search.
We search for a different ending to our story. Our deepest desire is to have all of our children with us.Visions of full stockings and baking cookies and making memories dance in our heads. When we see a gift for our child who died, we want to buy it for our child, not to donate in his memory.
We search for an escape from our reality with the hustle and bustle of the season. Desperately attempting to keep distracted, we fill our schedules with work and activities.
Then we search for an escape from the exhaustion of the hustle and bustle. By the time Christmas Day arrives, we’re depleted and ready to hide under the covers for the day.
We search for community that understands. We need people to speak our child’s name. When our families don’t understand, acknowledge, or remember, our sadness becomes more overwhelming.
We search for meaning. In a season of magic and miracles and virgin births, we struggle with, “Why not me? Why don’t I get my baby this Christmas?” So, we adopt a child the same age as our child would be and donate gifts to them. We organize remembrance events. And we do our best to make traditions that include our babies who died.
What are you searching for today, Mama?
I so wish I could take away the pain, to give you your greatest desire, today of all days. But, because I cannot, these are my wishes for you today.
I wish you…
- a little peace in your heart.
- understanding from family and friends.
- your child’s name spoken freely and frequently.
- the escape you need.
- the comfort food you desire.
- new family traditions that include all of your children.
Most of all, I wish you love. I hope you feel surrounded with love today. If you’re not getting it from your family and friends, know that we are sending you much love from all of us here at Pregnancy After Loss Support. Tell us about your babies. We will hold them and remember them today and every day.
Be kind to yourselves today, Mamas. And just get through.