This will be our 11th Christmas with an empty stocking hanging on the mantle. I'm not sure how we got here but I still remember that first Christmas. I remember not wanting to put up a tree at all. How could I be joyful when I was hurting so deeply. I was stuck in my grief and I could not pull myself out. I remember sitting around the house everyone full of Joy unwrapping gifts. Jadon was 2 and he was so excited. I remember watching everyone so happy with tear streaming down my face. I was angry! How could they all be so happy, didn't they know my child is dead. One of my children are missing. No one even mentioned her name and that just stung. I still have guilt over how checked out I was those first few Christmas'.
Over the past few years the pain of the grief has not been so deep. My family has learned that this time of year is difficult. That I do the best I can and that really all I can do. I miss her.
The should have beens have always been the hardest. Watching my nieces grow up is a reminder of the things I will miss out on with my own daughter. Shopping I see all the cute girl things and it hurts a little. Buying the boys Christmas shirt I found myself in the girls dresses just imagining what should have been. I allow myself to go to those places sometime but not to get stuck there.
Now every year as the boys pick out their yearly ornaments, I always search for the perfect butterfly for my tree. This year I also had a friend that had an ornament made with Trinity's name, and its a pretty girly pink.
The holidays are a time for family and Joy. It took a long time for me to find the Joy in the season. Watching how excited the boys are this year has helped me find the Joy. I can not bring my daughter back and ohhh how I miss her. But I'm choosing Joy. I am choosing the find the Joy. Even If that joy is interrupted with a tear or two I will find Joy that she was here, she existed, and even though she is not here with me now, she will always be tucked into a sacred place in my heart.
I really get this! It's so hard when all you have is an ornament instead of a little girl. All we can do is try to find the joy, and try to see it from the eyes of our living children. Sending you so much love and hugs this season and always.
I totally understand. This time of year brings it all out. The butterfly ornament on your tree is so sweet and so very pretty:) I'll be wiping away the tears with you Sam. You get extra egg nog.
Sending hugs and strength,
We recently lost our daughter Genevieve 8 days after her birth (10/28-11/5) and this whole holiday season has blindsided me. I actually don't remember the entire month of November and Christmas being less than 2 weeks away doesn't seem possible and I understand those feelings you had that first Christmas and I'm feeling them myself right now. Feeling guilty about other people's joy is something that will always accompany you during this season, I know I keep asking myself "why does everyone else get the happy ending and not us" but today I was able to find my own joy. In October I was so excited to get our 2016 family ornament made because we finally had a child to add instead of another dog so I went ahead and ordered it early along with a monogrammed stocking that matches the ones my husband and I have. Instead of being sad about having these things my daughter will never use I found joy in knowing that each Christmas she will have a stocking hanging alongside ours and a special ornament on the tree. I'm learning that my emotions are unpredictable but not uncontrollable and sometimes looking a situation from a new perspective can give you the joy you never thought you'd get back. Enjoy your holiday season :)
I agree completely with all of the above. It's so hard in the holidays when your other children are happy and joyful to allow yourself to join in with them as well as allowing the sad mourning time. Thinking of you and your family.
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