Yes, this Christmas season is so dang full of stuff to do! Parties, gifts to wrap and buy and just trying to come up with the perfect gift for everyone can make my brain hurt. I love the lights and having a toddler makes it even more fun than usual—“Mommy! Christmas lights!” He yells joyfully around every turn from the backseat of the car. But over the last 2-3 weeks there’s been a bit of a shadow lurking in my spirit.
I know so many of us keep busy so the sadness of the season doesn’t get a chance to creep in.
But it does.
So many of us are reminded of loved ones we’ve lost.
At this beautiful season of gathering to celebrate with family and friends, some of us are secretly mourning. Not all at once. It just seems to leak out when I least expect it.
I’m trying to allow myself the grace to feel the loss that keeps trying to come in. It’s not easy. But now that I’ve finally figured out “oh, I feel some sense of loss, That’s what I’m feeling!” I can at least start on this path, once again.
Loss of a dream.
Loss of another child I was going to be pregnant with this Christmas. Trying to allow myself to feel it and let it go, amidst the busy, bustling beauty of Christmas.
My heart aches tonight for a child I never really knew. We heard her heartbeat. I named her Dove. I had a vision of God’s strong and loving arms lifting her up so tenderly, like a bird with a broken wing. She was carried to heaven on July 4th, 2015. I will meet her in heaven with her siblings. This I know. And this is what comforts me.
How do I cope?
Well honestly I wasn’t coping well for a couple weeks- just felt angry, got mad at my husband, and the stupid phone company and did what I could to numb the pain as I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
This weird thing happened- I felt overly drawn to my close girlfriends with girls, planned a huge girly tea party in my head as I thought it would fulfill my urgent need to have a girl child and after seeing the Syrian “boat people” arrive on the shores of Greece I was halfway over there in my mind to adopt a girl off a boat when…. “Oh! That’s what’s happening”. I’m grieving. I’m longing for what could’ve been. I’m feeling the pain of our loss.
Then I prayed for courage to employ my healthy coping skills:
I remind myself that the baby I lost this past July is with the Lord now along the others. I’m not alone. I have friends who’ve “been though it” that I call and who are gracious enough to listen.
I pray. I cry. I talk to my husband and share what I’m going through. I’m surprised to learn he’s feeling it too.
I’d expected to give birth on Valentine’s Day. I’d expected to not be allowed to fly to Florida to see my husband’s family for Christmas. I had big, hopeful expectations of having a sibling for our sweet 3 year old son until hurt, pain and sorrow drove in with the force of a freight train and derailed all my wonderful plans.
The future changed.
Just can’t see around the corners of tomorrow no matter how hard we try.
So I will continue to just keep trying to allow myself to feel the grief when I can. To share. Let others in. Let the healing in. Be good to myself. Be good to others. Enjoy all that we Do have today..it’s a LOT!
I know we are blessed to live in safe homes, to have our friends and family and much to look forward to. The joy of the season is all around us. And yes, we often have to look up and out of ourselves to see it, feel it and enjoy it. But for those of you who’ve lost a child, especially one you expected to have with you in some way this Christmas…I’m so sorry. My heart aches with yours.
It’s ok to be sad.
To feel that lump in your chest.
To just sit and feel it. To put down the eggnog, leave the Secret Santa party and take time to feel it. However long it takes. It’s ok.
Merry Christmas to you and to all our kids in heaven. May we dream of them tonight J
Lots of Love,
I Thessalonians 4:13
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
I think the things we keep in the dark seem so scary and once we let them into the light, they can breathe. Letting others know about our heartache helps to lift the burden from our souls.