To other mamas with a stocking hanging from the mantle, that won’t be emptied by tiny hands tomorrow. I see you. As we usher in this holiday without our babies, some of us who’ve done this before, and some for the first time, I want to say something.
I understand that the sadness, triggers, and struggle don’t relent just because Christmas lights, magnolia wreaths, meticulously wrapped presents and Pinterest cookies are everywhere. Grief doesn’t take a holiday. Grieving is a drawn out process and the holidays magnify it. I know that while we might still enjoy the festivities of this time of year, like putting up a tree, stringing the lights, baking cookies and wrapping gifts… there’s a layer of ache there for us that cannot be grasped by others.
I know it can be hard to fight the anger and sadness, that even when there is joy, it is intermingled with pain. We are missing the little hands that would be tearing through the glossy paper and boxes, the frosting covered face that should be sneaking more cookies, the Christmas list they never had. I see you, and I feel it too.
“I hope you know, it’s okay if your strength looks a little different in this season” (quote from Morgan Harper Nichols)