To the grieving mom this holiday season:
I want you to know something.
I want you to know that I see you this holiday season. I see you living the hardest year of your life.
I see you at the store looking at the stockings. I see you questioning whether or not you buy one for a child who is no longer here on earth.
I see you falling into the grief trap. If you buy the stocking what do you put in it?
What one do you buy?
Would he like one of the fun characters or would he want a traditional one like the rest of the family?
How could you know when you never got to watch him take a breath.
If you don’t buy the stocking, are you betraying him?
I see you, mama.
I see you planning a holiday photoshoot. I see you trying to think of any way to include your sweet baby in the family photos.
I see your heart physically break at the realization that your family will never all be in a photo all together.
I see you collect any physical artifacts of your child’s, hoping to find just one thing that you can include.
I see you planning your Christmas cards. I see you fret for hours over how to sign your card.
Do you include everyone’s names?
Do you only include your living family?
Do you just write from the Smith Family and hope everyone knows that your baby is included in that too?
I see you.
I see you at the mall. I see you going from store to store trying to find the most beautiful holiday outfit. I see you stressing over the way things fit.
I see you cry over the 15 pounds you still have to lose. I see your tears become anger. Not only did you leave the hospital without your baby but your body has changed too. I hear you whisper, “It’s not fair.”
I see you walking into the holiday party. I see you take a deep breath as you walk in. I see you looking for a friendly face to talk to when it seems like everyone is afraid of you.
As if losing a baby is contagious.
I see you wishing that someone would just say his name.
I see you wish that you would’ve just tapped a sign on your back that said: Talking about my baby is okay.
I see you feel joy, sorrow and feel everyone’s eyes on you.
I see you in quiet moments. The moments when you are laying in bed and the tears stream quietly.
I see you in moments of pure grief. The moments where you go into the shower to let every piece of your body sob, hoping that shower will drown some of the noise.
I see you wonder how it can be so hard to miss someone so much this Christmas when you never had a holiday with them. I see you close your eyes and wish that this wasn’t your reality.
I see you flashback to the delivery of your sweet baby. I see you remember how the worst day and best day of your life swirled into one.
I see you remember when the nurse said, “Babies aren’t supposed to die.” I see you remember the medical staff weeping beside your bed.
I see you give yourself a minute of the “what if’s”. What if he was alive right now?
What would it be like to wake up on Christmas morning and go to the Christmas tree with my baby in my arms? I see you not let yourself linger there too long because it is too painful to imagine what was supposed to be.
But most of all mama, I see you.
I mean, I really see you.
I see you grow closer to your spouse. I see you relying on one another to learn your new normal this holiday season.
I see you honoring your baby in the best way you know how. I see you being the very best mother that that baby could’ve ever had.
I see you finding joy when you can. I see you accepting that it is okay to be both filled with joy and filled with sorrow.
I see the beauty that radiates from you. I see a body that is changed and more beautiful than ever.
I see you.
I see your pain. I see your heartache.
I see your frustration. I see your anger.
I see your gratitude. I see your love.
I see your hope.
I see you.