Everyone take a deep breath and let. it. go.
We made it through the holiday’s!! I know, my post is a little late but after the grueling season that we all just had to endure, I am reluctant to open my heart up to write another post.
But alas! If you’re like me and this season was the first holiday season after the loss of your baby or if you just know what it’s like to endure a Christmas morning in an empty house, then you know; breathe in, breathe out and repeat. Eventually it all comes to an end.
I will not lie, approaching this holiday season I was optimistic and cautious. That is until my husband and I went Black Friday shopping. Then the optimism vanished and I was just cautious. I realized that we were saving so much money on TWO kids and that we should be equally as excited at how much we were saving on baby toys as well. Standing by the pajama’s sorting out a pair for Doodle I looked up and saw the Christmas onesie pajamas across the way and had to collect and reorient myself. Ahhh! Screw them I wanted to say. I wanted to march over and wreck the clothing rack that displayed the cutest Christmas jammies I’d ever seen that read “my first Christmas” across the chest. Screw those pajamas for existing. I thought I had mentally prepared myself pretty well for scenarios such as Christmas morning where we would wake up and instead of seeing presents under the tree for three kids, there would only be two sets of gifts to give out. On top of that, we didn’t have our other two this year, their mother did. So it was especially difficult because we woke up to a silent, empty, still house. That, I thought I had prepped myself for. This though….I didn’t even think about the actual Christmas shopping. So it hit me smack in the face when I saw that onesie hanging on the wrack across the isle from me. It was so forceful that I was sure someone had actually punched me in the chest. I was sure that someone had seen this reality setting in around me that shifted my perspective ever so much. I was sure that the people around me could feel the air thicken and gain an amber hue at the realization that I didn’t need a “my first Christmas” onesie in my cart. But life just moved on as normal. No one noticed, no one stopped. No one had punched me. This was just my little bubble of grief that swallowed me alone.
After that I really tried to anticipate all of the scenarios that could come across my plate this year. It resulted in me planning to answer all of the “Merry Christmas, how are you?” questions from family members with a sarcastic “Not real fuckin’ good. Thanks for asking.” And yes, the profanity was a necessity. I didn’t actually do that though. Surprisingly not many people actually asked how I was. Which I was equally as offended by. Seriously, you couldn’t win with me this season.
Christmas Eve approached and we were busy all day. Which I found out that I appreciated. Because when we were busy being surrounded by so many people it was less painful to recognize the emptiness in my arms. We took a break between celebrations to go to the cemetery and tell our Adam, “Merry Christmas.” I read him The Night Before Christmas and my husband listened on. Then I told him that that is just how we do it here on Earth and I couldn’t wait for him to teach me how they celebrate in Heaven. That night, after all of the celebrations and helping the kids mom prepare for Christmas morning, when we got back to our quiet, empty house, the tears came impatiently. All day I hadn’t realized but I had been fighting back the tears that spilled the moment I allowed them to. Christmas Eve night was extremely painful. Tears flowed in a constant stream silently down my cheeks as I held my hand over the footprints tattooed on my husband’s chest.
Christmas morning I took just a moment to recognize the silence and pray and wait for a miracle of a baby crying under my Christmas tree. Nothing. Ironically Christmas day was not a busy day at all. So the silence of sitting at home made it an equally teary day. We took a rattle and toy keys out to the cemetery and told Adam “Merry Christmas” again and, “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. I wanted a miracle so bad I thought I was loosing my mind.
Then the freaking new year came. Everyone acted like it was such a terrible year and that they couldn’t wait for 2017. I, of all people, was not ready to part with 2016. It was a wonderful year. All of 2016 was consumed with Adam. We tried to get pregnant, found out in February that we were pregnant, spent almost the whole year anticipating his arrival, and then spent the last 4 months consumed with grief at his loss. The whole year was about him and I was upset to see it go. I don’t want to say, “we lost our son last year.” it doesn’t seem right. So as the new year rolled in I fought back tears as my husband kissed me and exclaimed, “Happy New Year!”
Thank. Goodness. That. It. Is. Over though. Thank Goodness. I have never felt so relieved to have the holiday’s behind me. I have also never felt so tortured by the holidays before.
Often times, though, I find myself wanting to talk about him light heartily with people. I just want to chat about my experiences with him like other moms chat about their children. SO……I will say I am very proud of my attempt at chattiness about him, although I do think it was a little too much in hindsight….
About 10 minutes after the ball dropped I was sitting on the couch with my sister-in-law and one of my best friends while my daughter slept on the floor next to the tree. My sister-in-law, referencing the children that stayed awake until the new year, said, “Well 2 out of 3 of my children made it to the new year.” (Of course you know how I had to respond to that….) “Yeap…mine too.” I said. Which was met with silence and looks of fear at how to respond. I laughed. It was funny because it’s true. And actually that is what I followed my “jaw dropper” up with. None-the-less….they did not laugh. My sister-in-law didn’t respond at all and my best friend gave out a sound like you would if you saw a dog get kicked.
Attempt: FAILED. But it felt good to at least try. Am I right?
How was your Christmas without your baby or loved one? What did you do special to remember them by? How did you find humor or comfort in your situation? I would love to hear about it!