I got this wonderful idea from Beryl Young.  She posted a holiday scavenger hunt to be done through the camera lens.  The challenge?  Find 31 different items and using your camera capture the item.  Shortly after receiving the list I began checking items off my list.  The biggest challenge she thought would be to find figgy pudding.  Fortunately, Raun and I attended a Medieval Feast and I had the photo taken care of.  After looking at the list I think there will be other challenges ahead.  In honor of Christmas and the holiday season I want to share the videos and photos I have so far.  Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday filled with laughter, joy, and love.
Here is what I am still looking for
an adult sitting on Santa’s lap, a real snowman, a Christmas stocking hung over a fireplace, a couple kissing under the mistletoe, someone helping a stranger or donating to charity, someone stringing popcorn, a toy shop, someone with a shaving cream Santa beard, a pet dressed for the season
This is what I have found so far
a wreath with a big bow, Rudolph, an ornament, a snowflake, an angel, a gingerbread house, figgy pudding, nativity, North Pole, coal, Christmas lights on a business building, a candle, chocolate santa, sleigh bell, electric train, a Christmas tree that is not my own, a star, a holly leaf, a wrapped gift, a group of carolers (see video), a partridge in a pear tree or any of the 12 days of Christmas (see other video)
 
A Group of Carolers.  The best I could find-we saw them while in Stockholm, WI)

 

A partridge in a pear tree (or any of the 12 days of Christmas).  Here is a video of the song being sung and someone acting it out that we took while at the Medieval Feast.

 

 

The holidays can be a tough time of year to go through after the loss of a child, but there is also magic, joy, and peace that come with the season as well.  Surround yourself with the things you truly love to do, the people who support you, and find a way to honor your child.  Some of the steps in the holiday plan may not pertain to you or you may think “what does this have to do with any of it?”  That is alright.  If all you take from these steps are the ones that truly resonate with you, then you will still find the strength and courage you need. 

As we went through these steps, there are a few that, to us, just don’t seem to matter.  On the flip side, there are a few that have become really important and we have put into motions ways to fullfill them.  Go through these steps the best you can; following what you feel in your heart, what makes sense to you, and what will help you most in the path of healing.  Remember to go through these steps with your spouse, as both of you are grieving and healing differently.  You will each have different perspectives on them.  Also, remember to take time to honor your little and honor yourselves for all that you have gone through.  It is a tough road to follow sometimes, but there is also light on this path. 

Over time, the light will get brighter and it will get easier to breath.  Take the steps one at a time, and if you can’t take a step on your own it is okay to ask for help.  If that first step is too hard to take on your own, I encourage you to take the hand of someone who can take that step with you.  Whether it is a spouse, a friend, a family member, or God reach your hand out and say “please go with me, help me take this step”.  I promise you will make it through this.  It may be a bit on the ugly side, it may not be easy, but you will make it through this. 

I send you extra thoughts, prayers, and hugs during this holiday season.  I wish many blessings for you and strength.  I hope you may find some beauty and joy in the season.  Your little angel will be near in spirit, holding your hand and guiding you through.  Lastly, I pray for peace for you.

 

 

 

How will we take care of ourselves?

Be extra certain that you take care of you and your family.  It may sound simple, but be sure to get enough rest and exercise, and eat and drink in moderation.  Take some time to create moments of solitude or time for quiet reflection.  Even though things can get really busy, try to slow down and take the moments in.  You will need a lot of energy, so be prepared.  Have those things on hand to help give you the energy you need for everything. 

                I am not sure exactly what we will do to take care of ourselves.  Hopefully, weather pending, spending some time walking outside can be added to our list.  If you don’t journal, now may be a good opportunity to take time to write.  If you don’t write, then paint or photograph or draw.  Do whatever you are drawn to that will allow you to take care of yourself-physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  A lot of what we will end up doing will be decided in the moment.  It will be more of a, what are we feeling in the moment and what are we going to do about it. 

So, how are you going to take care of you and your family?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

How will you honor you grief and pain?

Don’t try to ignore your feelings.  It is okay to grieve and it is okay to feel the pain.  It is all a part of the healing.  It is alright to feel these feelings.  The best gift you can give yourself as you go through this is the recognition of what you have had to go through, how you made it through, and with time things will get easier.  Yes, there will still be days when you miss your little one, but the pain will slowly diminish and you will begin to see the light.  Take some time to explore your past and your future.  Help yourself to recognize when you are in trouble and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Think of some ways that you can pamper yourself and what you can do to get in touch with your soul, and be sure to put them down on paper.

This season I will take extra time to light candles and maybe take a few extra-long bubble baths.  I will continue to write to help me through my thoughts and feelings.  I will take more candid photos of family and friends when I get the chance.  I will pick up my camera to get in touch with the beauty around me as well as inside me.  Most importantly, I will continue down this path one step at a time, one day at a time and count the blessings that I still have.

 

So, how will you honor the grief and pain that you may feel?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

Raun and I are coming up on a year since Samantha came into our lives. I have learned a fair number of things. One of those things I learned is the importance of support. No matter what life dishes out a person needs support. When you loose someone close to you due death, that support becomes even more important. When you loose a child, support becomes a necessity.

Nearly a year after, there are things I am finally doing to work through the grief. There are also things coming out because people feel that I am ready to hear it. I found out recently that some of the support I thought was there really isn’t truly there. I also found out that people were being told one thing about our loss and we were led to believe something else.

On the flip side we have been blessed with having a very supportive family.  They all seem to have an understanding of what we are going through.  Some because of their own life experiences and other’s because she is a part of our family.  I also have a few friends who are there to turn to when ever I need to.  I am also blessed to have Raun.  He is truly a wonderful husband.  He helps to provide encouragement, strength, comfort, and different perspectives.

You need to have a variety of support as well.  My husband has been great and is great, however it wouldn’t be fair to only rely on him for support.  He to is grieving as well.  Each of us grieves differently, so what each of us needs may or may not be the same.  We all face the different stages of grief, but in our own time and in our own way.

I encourage you to find support from some one who has been down this path before.  For me, I have two people.  I have my mother and a friend from work.  Though it was many years ago, both have walked this path and they understand.  It gives me hope to see, that despite the loss, they were still able to grow their families.

I want to let you know that it is okay to seek out resources and groups that focus on this type of loss. You need to do what helps you. You may choose to seek outside help in a group setting or in a one on one setting. It will take some strength and courage to make this step, but once you do you will begin to feel a sense of relief.

I was able to find a group and I was also able to come up with a million and one reasons I couldn’t make the meeting.  I wasn’t ready.  My outlet had been this blog and a few groups on facebook.  The thought of sharing face to face scared me.  In October I was ready and went to my first meeting.  I won’t lie, it was tough.  When that first meeting was over I began to feel a little bit better.  With each time I go I get more of a voice, share more of my thoughts, and I am surrounded by people who understand.  I feel normal.

I have also found creative outlets. It is through these outlets that I have strengthened relationships and built new ones. I have been journaling/blogging since this all happened. I recently went through an Illuminate course where it combined journaling and photography. I have had a passion for photography for years, but taking this course gave me the opportunity to really combine two things I enjoy, as well as share a different perspective on the loss of a child. There are many opportunities out there to use creative talents. If there is something you enjoy doing I encourage you to continue and use it to help in the healing process. If there isn’t something that you do creatively, now could be just the right time to try something.

Over time, what you need for support will change. Whatever way you decide to go, I encourage you to continue to surround yourself with the people and things that truly bring you support.

 

How will you remember your little one?

There are so many ideas and possibilities out there of what you can do to remember your little one.  Really, the sky is the limit.  Do what resonates with you in your heart.  Do what feels right.  Share your ideas with your spouse, family, and friends.  See if your loved ones have ideas as well.  Some ideas are: you could visit the cemetery, make a donation to charity in their name, decorate a wreath in memory of them, burn a candle over the holidays, hang a tree decoration, or light a candle at church.

                We are looking for just the right ornament to hang on our Christmas tree.  I am also considering getting a special stocking, if I can find one that resonates within my heart.  I am pretty sure, at some point in the month of December; we will make a trip to the cemetery and memorial wall.  We are including a special dragonfly and poem in with our Christmas letters this year.

 

So, how will you remember your little one?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

What will you do?

The holidays are filled with traditions.  There are family traditions that we have been doing for years, decades even and as our family grows, so do our traditions.  Sometimes over the years we change, adapt, or keep the traditions.  With the loss of a little one, you begin to wonder what you will do.  Are you keeping the holiday traditions you have?  Are you going to change them?  Are you going to add to them?  Or, maybe even a combination of them all?  Then there is decorating the house for the season.  This time of year seems to be the time of year people go all out when decorating.  Are you going to decorate things the same way?  Who will do the decorating?  Will you still put the tree up, and if so who will put it up?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you are usually the one who does this and the tasks seem overwhelming you can ask for help.  Between the shopping, wrapping, and cards it’s no wonder that most people get caught up in the hustle and bustle.  When you add grieving to this list, those items can become too much to tackle on your own.  We are all going through this process differently.  I have talked to people who choose to go away to a destination or remain at home doing their own quiet thing.  While yet others want to be surrounded by family.  The choice is yours and you need to do what fits you and your spouse best.  Holiday cards can be another tough decision.  If you decide to send out cards, do you sign your little one’s name?  Do you include a special remembrance?  Do you include them in your family letter?  This too, is something you need to talk with your spouse about and make the decision based on what your heart tells you.

                We plan to follow the flow and traditions of years passed.  The tree will go up, once we decide where to put it and will be decorated with all our special ornaments.  I will decorate the house for Christmas and winter.  This is by far my most favorite time of year to decorate and I go all out.  I know Samantha won’t be here to take part in it, but if the house wasn’t decorated I feel like it would be emptier.  I married into a family who writes letters for Christmas, so every year we have written a letter talking about the year, as well as what might be in store for the new year.  This year will be no different, we will write a letter, but it will have a few additions.  We included a little paragraph about Samantha and in honor of her we included a little dragonfly, as well as a poem that I wrote.

So, what will you do?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

What might you be feeling?

You won’t truly know what you will be feeling on a specific day until that day arrives.  Plus, moment to moment can change on you.  What is important is that you are prepared.  Be prepared for anything and everything, but try to remain flexible with how it all ends up going or could go.  Have your support with you or near you throughout the time, and be honest with your feelings.  As happy as a time of year this can be, there may be some things you are dreading.  If possible, take some time to look at and analyze those items, then create a plan.  If you need to, consider taking time away from those items.  If you can’t walk away from those items, which is okay, try to think of ways to make it easier to get through them.  There will be points where you and your spouse will feel the same thing, as well as those around you.  There will also be times when you all will not be feeling the same thing.  So, make sure you give yourself time to decompress…whether it is through journaling, going for a walk, having some alone time, or just relaxing.  Be certain to be there and be a support to each other.

I don’t know what I will be feeling leading up to the holidays and during the holidays.  I do know that I will go for walks, record my thoughts, and probably take a lot of photos.  My hope is that even though Samantha is not here with us, that I will still find light and joy in this season.  I will try to find beauty and magic in the season.  All this is possible because she is in our hearts.

So, what might you be feeling?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

 

Last weekend Raun and I had a fun mini weekend getaway.  We got in a little holiday shopping during Pepin & Stockholm’s Holiday Festival, went to a Medieval Feast, and enjoyed a beautiful snow covered tree backroad road trip back home.

On Saturday we headed to Pepin, Wisconsin to take in the shops and get set up at the Inn we stayed at for the night.  We headed to Stockholm, Wisconsin to take in more shopping and a little bit of pie for lunch.  Later in the evening we began our trek up the hill to Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery for the feast.

I say trek because while taking in some down time at the Inn it had begun to snow.  By the time we went to the feast there was a considerable amount of snow on the ground.  The first try up the hill lead us to slipping, slidding, and then not moving at all.  So we headed out of town and tried another way up to the top of the bluff.  Eventually, we arrived safe and sound ready to feast.

The whole feast was a fun experience.  There was good food, good company, live entertainment, and learning about what truly is wassail.  Some of the highlights, other than the food, included…When we first walked in we were given hats.  The person handing out hats looked at Raun and exclaimed “you look like a wizzard!”  I ended up with a princess hat.  Any time anyone said “wassail!” the response was an enthusiastic “drink ale!”  Lastly, the end of the night with a ginormous bonfire.  It was beatiful!  Surrounded by fresh fallen snow, snowflakes filling the air, the warmth of the fire, and the beauty of the sparks mixed with falling snow.

We ended our weekend with the drive back home.  The drive was amazing.  There was something, almost magical, about the way the snow looked on all the trees.  The sky was a bit on the gray side, but it made the white snow pop.  It was beautiful.

 

What will you eat?

Sometimes it is the little, simple things that prove to be the toughest decision to make.  Though you may not feel like eating, I do encourage you to nourish your soul.  Try to eat something.  If you are the one who usually is the host for a meal and you just aren’t feeling like it would be a good fit, then see if someone else can do the hosting instead.  If you are hosting, you can consider simplifying things.  Are there items that you can purchase instead of make?  Maybe you could do a potluck style meal and divide up the tasks or maybe you could go out for a holiday meal.  Think about it…is it possible to change the time you eat or location?

We generally spend Christmas Eve with Raun’s family and then Christmas day with my family.  This year we will have a modified Christmas Eve because some of the family will be out of state to welcome into our world our nephew.  So, our plan for that night has yet to be developed at this point.  However, Christmas day will be the usual…open presents, have some breakfast, dinner prep, and dinner.  There will be some baking we will do to bring home.  I will most likely help my dad at some point with the lasagna making (if it isn’t pretty much done by the time we get into town) or possibly help my mom put together pies (if we decide to have more than just baked goods)

 

So, what will you eat?  What is your plan?  Share below your thoughts, tips, or ideas.

© 2017 MyInfantLoss.com Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha
Sharing Buttons by Linksku