As Christmas approaches and the holidays truly take over everything, your feeds will be taken over by beautiful pictures of families together. Children filled with joy as they laugh or cry with Santa. You’ll see presents wrapped and good deeds by the hundreds, everyone is in the spirit to celebrate and enjoy this time of year. It’s beautiful, and magical and it’s all so contagious!
But I wanted to share a bit of my perspective, what my feed looks like. Mixed in with all the festivities and magic, there’s a post from a mother, spending her first Christmas without her baby. She asks the question “how do you ever celebrate again?” There are family Christmas pictures that are shared as someone holds a photo, the only way to get a complete family portrait anymore. Families are together, but feel that missing piece like a wound. We parents without our babies. We hide in the bathroom at Christmas parties because we still don’t know how to fully celebrate when we feel so empty. We don’t talk about the missing because so many people see it as a downer. We try to smile and laugh our way through this season, we try so hard to be what everyone considers “normal.”
There are three ornaments hanging from my tree that speak of a little boy that would be three and a half this Christmas, which honestly still feels too unreal to comprehend. Three and a half years. I can’t help but think about how much magic he would bring into this home at that age. The first Christmas that he would really start to understand what any of this meant. “Helping” his little sister open her presents, poking a belly that holds his little brother, actually knowing what he might want for Christmas. Instead I’m left trying to find a balance where I can miss him and embrace that, while also finding the magic for our little girl.
Christmas has become complicated, and I just wanted to put that out there for anyone who knows someone who’s been through or is going through this. Understand the effort that is going in to smiling this Christmas, and tell them that you are there. Tell them that speaking their babies name won’t make them the downer of the party. Recognize that if they don’t want to come at all, that’s ok too. Wrap them in love this year, and don’t be too pushy. This season is so beautiful, but it’s also so hard.
Love us anyway.