A Bereaved Mother’s Christmas Wish List

December 3, 2013


The holiday season is upon us and everyone keeps asking me a little innocent question, “What would you like for Christmas this year?” It’s harmless really, an easy question one might say, but I usually reply with a blank stare and an indifferent shrug. There is really nothing, absolutely nothing, that money could buy that I really want wrapped and placed under the tree with my name on it. I say politely, “I’ll think about it and let you know.”

Then, I realize there are a many things I would like to add to my Christmas wish list, but none of them could be granted as ALL I can think about is wanting my daughter back. I want my husband and I to spend our first Christmas together as a family of three instead of two, and if I can’t have that, then I want to rewind this movie called life back 12 months and be the innocent first time expecting mommy. To have my hopes and dreams still alive, still possible, not smashed on the ground as they are now, a year later with no child in my arms.

So as I ponder the question a little longer, I came up with my real Christmas wish list. Sadly, they will be forever wishes as there is no way for them to possibly come true.

A Bereaved Mother’s Christmas Wish List

1. I wish my child hadn’t died.

2. I wish I could hold her, smell her sweet scent and kiss her beautiful forehead.

3. I wish her dad could be a dad like the others, one who gets to tickle her, hug her, and protect her.

4. I wish I could see her grow and watch her learn how to crawl, walk, talk, and explore the wonders of the world with her through her innocent and unknowing eyes.

5. I wish I could tuck her in at night, read her a bed time story and hold her hand as she fell asleep.

6. I wish I could hear her cry all night long and complain about having to change her stinking diaper and be sleep deprived because of her beautiful smelly, loud, little self.

7. I wish I could comb her hair, put it in bows, dress her up for the holidays in little princess outfits I swore I never would let her wear and watch her dance around the house.

8. I wish I could see her eyes shine and twinkle as she opens presents for the first time and smashes her face into a one year birthday cake as we take silly pictures.

9. I wish others could understand my pain without judgment and without having to lose a child.

10. I wish no one ever had to know this grief.

11. I wish I could rewind time and save her.

12. I just really wish she was here and none of this happened.

13. I wish my child lived.

I didn’t want to lose my wishes as all I can do is really hold them as I cannot hold her. So as part of a Christmas ritual I started, I decided to make a Christmas ornament wish ball. Each year and each family member can put their wishes they hold for my little girl inside the ball and hang it on our tree. I put my wishes along with my husband’s in the ornament and hung it on our tree dedicated to her this year.  Below is a picture and a link to a tutorial on how to make a Christmas ornament wish ball, for instructions click here.


What would be on your Bereaved Parent Christmas Wish List this year? I would love to know.

  • Lindsey Henke

    Lindsey is a baby loss mom, writer, and clinical social worker. She writes about her journey through grief after child loss using her professional knowledge to heal her personal pain on her blog Stillborn and Still Breathing.

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