We are in the midst of the holiday season...
This was to be our first Christmas with our daughter. Now it's the first of...15? 40? 60? without us together. I have little interest in any usual holiday traditions and activities. My husband and I did put up a small Christmas tree. I am hanging a stocking for Lydia. I plan to put some items in it. I also ordered a family Christmas card with a collage of pictures. I signed it with the names of those in our family (my husband and I, Lydia, Baby Curtis, and our two dogs).
We attended M.E.ND. 's Candlelight Service on Tuesday. It was a smaller gathering with music, a message, and the opportunity for each family to walk to the front of the chapel, say the name of the child/children they had lost, and light a candle in their memory. I choked up and it broke my heart when I said our baby's name, but it means so much for her to be remembered. It was also nice to have a Christmas event with other parents who have lost babies, who understand.
I have not decided what family events I am ready to attend this year. I do not want to see other people laughing and being happy and sharing Christmas with their family and children. That sounds very bitter...it is not that I wish others to be unhappy, it is just painful for me to see their joy while being in such pain. Is that too selfish? Perhaps it is. I want to yell that I lost my baby four months ago and I am not happy this Christmas, that this is not the most wonderful time of the year, and I do not want to have to put a smile on to be social. I do not want this Christmas to continue as if nothing has happened when our lives will never be the same. Participating in the usual activities feels like Lydia's
So I think my husband and I are going to stay at home this Christmas. I have always been a traditionalist about everything Christmas. None of that seems to matter now. I plan to attend our church Christmas Eve service and cook a nice dinner for my husband and I. Christmas day I do not know what to do. I have not shared my plans with my family (who will likely expect us for the holiday).
I'm filled with questions this Christmas...
What do you do the first Christmas after burying your child?
How do you acknowledge the celebration of Christ's birth, but do not participate in any of the usual celebrations?
How do you watch other families with their children when you can't hold your child?
How do you watch gifts exchanged with none for the baby you expected but lost?
How can you sing carols when tears are about the only words you have sung for months?
How do you talk with people who feel the joy of the holiday season when you have feel dead inside?
When you should have a baby in your arms at Christmas dinner and they are empty?
When a stocking is hung in memory of your child rather than for your child's pleasure?
When the plans you had months ago will never happen?
When your heart is broken but the world keeps moving on?