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.