As women, we tend to hold ourselves together for the benefit of our husbands, our children, our extended family.
When we grieve, we tend to continue that trend, holding all the emotions in, refusing to show the cracks.
Sometimes though, grief wins out.
Sometimes emotional self-care is just as important as maintaining a strong front. This holiday season, if you’re new in grief or have lived hand-in-hand with grief for years, know that it’s okay to not always be merry.
It’s okay to be a grinch this Christmas.
It’s okay to not smile and return calls that want you to be happy and merry.
When you lose a baby, sometimes grief comes to visit when it is least convenient for those around you. But grief doesn’t pause for the holidays – and your emotions won’t either.
It’s okay to be angry this holiday season.
It’s okay to cry and mourn and do little else. Expectations of others are unduly placed on your shoulders this time of year, you don’t need to put on a show to comfort family this season.
You have a duty to yourself, to your heart, to your sweet little one and their memory and to nothing and no one else.
It’s okay to feel lonely this New Year. To watch the smiles on everyone else’s faces as they place a New Year’s kiss on their loved one’s lips.
It’s okay to miss feeling carefree, it’s okay to feel like you don’t belong within the peer group you once effortlessly celebrated with.
Grief changes you, alters the fabric of who you are. Sadness, anger, and loneliness are commonplace for many during the holidays.
For loss parents though, those feelings are multiplied simply because happiness tends to highlight the fact that someone is missing.
The joy exists in such contradiction to the achy emptiness that came to be in the moment you were made to say goodbye to your child.
Grief wins out sometimes, it’s okay to let it.
It is okay to not be okay this holiday season. You can be merry and bright, or you can just not. The choice is yours.
Morgan McLaverty, a world traveler that has taken roots in southern New Jersey where her husband Sean was born and raised. Now, a stay at home mother, she cares for her three living boys; Gavin Cole(5), Rowan Grey(3) and Holden Nash (1). She also is a mother to Lennon Rhys. Lennon was born still at thirty one weeks and five days. His loss spurred on a need in Morgan to write her feelings, share her grief and help others in the process. She hopes her words will help shed the silence and taboo nature of discussing pregnancy and child loss.