The holidays can be the most joyous time of year.
It promotes the season of giving and is highly known for softening the hearts of even the meanest grinches.
But for some of us this holiday season,
it can be a torrential time of year.
You see the smiles and cheer of everyone around you and you wonder why,
why you can’t have that.
You wonder why you aren’t one of the “lucky ones” who get all of their children here-
Who understand what it means to be whole.
But don’t understand the possibility of the darkest side of life you’ve ever seen.
You may not see us look,
you may not hear our thoughts.
You might not even notice at us.
But when we see you out in public at the grocery store,
doing your holiday shopping,
or while we are walking down the street,
and see you admiring Christmas lights with your family.
Know that we see you and that we admire you.
During this holiday season,
check in on your grieving friend or family member.
Let them know that they are not alone.
Bring them coffee.
Just text them “Hi”.
Make them dinner.
Send them a card.
Give them a gift.
Send them flowers.
And for some of us our family just doesn’t understand.
Whether it is a-month, a year, three years, 10 years.
Time doesn’t matter.
Our children don’t just go away.
We don’t just magically “get over it “
-(How badly I hate those words)-
But believe it or not parents, friends, family members have said this to child loss families.
And instead of talking about how inconsiderate and heartless that is to say to somebody who is grieving the death of their child,
What the grieving hearts instead need is true people that actually care unconditionally.
They need time to express their grief in their own way.
They need support that is unending.
So say their child’s name!
Mention them with joy.
Share a story in their honor.
Talk about them.
Our hearts are shattered anyway.
Your stories won’t hurt us.
They will help us.
When doing a gift exchange this holiday season,
give a gift to the parents from the child who passed away.
Give a gift to the child that died.
Whether it be an ornament for the Christmas tree, a book or something to keep the grief at bay a little longer. To help keep their minds occupied.
Please do not make them feel guilty for missing a child.
Each holiday is a new phase of grief.
Each year hurts a little differently.
But try compassion.
Parents of child loss, celebrate with ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN.
Lay ground rules to what YOU want this holiday season.
Because it is so important to take care of your heart so tenderly because it is beyond fragile at the state.
Take your child’s rattles, toys or Knick knacks and attach an ornament hook onto them.
Use them as ornaments.
This will be a wonderful gift once you pack them away too.
For next year.
You’ll have a beautiful memory rush back to you.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to NOT want to celebrate at all.
It’s okay to not feel joyous right now.
It’s okay to not want to celebrate.
It’s okay to fly on autopilot.
If you don’t want to celebrate perhaps serving food at a shelter or soup Kitchen would help.
Throwing caution to the wind that you don’t just lay in bed all day.
Because the positive grieving toolbox holds many things.
And your child loves you too much to see you in bed.
Love one another.
Love them so deep that they are thankful.
Thankful to have you.
Thankful to have their children.
Thankful to be on this earth.
Understand holiday grief with holiday grace.