My Fourth Christmas Without You

By |2018-12-19T20:57:21+00:00December 19th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Dear little one,

There is something I see in myself ever since you died. In pictures, in the mirror, in my eyes. It’s a tiredness that hasn’t gone away.

It could be due to age or brought on by the pregnancies, births and parenting of your younger sister and brother, now three and a half years old and eight months old.

But I feel it deep down. For four years I have carried the weight of missing you. It can be exhausting in a way.

But through these tired eyes, the ones that saw you in ultrasounds, in my arms, and in your small heart-shaped urn, I also see pure love when I think of you.

I love you, the little boy who made me a mom, the one who sends me signs when I least expect them and need them the most.

My very first Christmas without you felt nearly impossible. I had envisioned so many things that now couldn’t be. I was pregnant with your sister, feeling a bit out of control. I tried hard to honor you while focusing on getting through.

The following Christmas was bittersweet. We had a beautiful six-month-old baby to celebrate with, who fulfilled a longing so deep. But she also reminded me of all I had missed out on with you.

This holiday season, my fourth without you, traditions and rituals have started to form.

We light a candle, say your name, hang your 2014 ‘Baby Boy’s First Christmas’ ornament on the tree, and donate a gift to a child your age.

It is our first Christmas with your baby brother, and with him here our family feels a bit more complete. And yet, there is an overarching feeling of, “Brayden should be here, too.” It is not as all-encompassing as it once was, but it’s still there. It’s in my eyes.

For you, I wish for warmth and comfort this holiday season. No pain, no sadness, just love. Merry Christmas, sweet one.

Love always,

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About the Author:

Tracy McLaughlin Jaskot
Tracy McLaughlin Jaskot is an elementary educator in Massachusetts and mom to three children - her angel son Brayden, her rainbow daughter Ainsley Hope, and her second rainbow due in April 2018. She and her husband, Matt, lost their first son Brayden at 24 weeks gestation in May 2014 due to undiagnosed severe pre-eclampsia which led to a complete concealed placental abruption. Tracy has learned and grown from his stillbirth in more ways than she could have ever imagined. The PALS community has been vital in her subsequent pregnancies, shifting her experience from understandable anxiety to embracing pregnancy with hope.

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