Raun and I have been through many holidays and celebrations since we lost Samantha.  We have faced Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Weddings, and Birthdays.  We are to the point where we have two major holidays to work through…Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These two holidays are filled with families, friends, new experiences, old experiences, and tradition.  So, how does one face these next couple of months?

In my pregnancy and infant loss group this was our topic…How to make it through the Holidays.  This topic is interesting for me,  I learned a lot just by listening to others in the group.  To start we each shared what we were most dreading about the upcoming holiday time.  For most, it seeemed to be family that was causing the most anxiety.  Unfortunately for a lot of people their relationships become strained with their family and their family is not overly supportive on the topic.  They would prefer to push it out and remain inside their comfort zone. 

I am not familiar with this.  Fortunately, for me, for us, I think our relationship with family has become stronger and deeper.  We are lucky to have many hugs, prayers, and words of comfort coming from all over the country.  That, to me, is a big blessing, especially after listening to other’s in the group.

We also began to talk about the things we will do, do not do, or change.  Like parties to attend, people to see, food to make, shopping to do, and so on.  For me, the thing that I took away from this night was not only being thankful for my family, but the idea of doing something special to remember our little one.  I had been thinking on this for a little while.  We are going to include a special something in each of our Christmas cards that we send out this year in memory of our little girl.  Iam also keeping my eye out for a special decoration, ornament, or something that resonates deeply within my heart that we can always put out during the holiday season.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to post some topics on getting through the holidays.  They will be questions to think about and I will add my own input on what we’ve done on previous holidays or what we plan on doing for the next two.  It is my hope that these will help make it a little easier to get through the holidays and hopefully you will even be able to find a little joy and happiness during this time.  I know it isn’t always easy to find the happier side of things when you’ve lost a child, I have been there.  I am still learning though.  Learning how to make it through, how to move forward, how to take what has happened and help others, and find ways to honor Samantha.

So, I ask you…this upcoming Holiday Season, what is something that you dread? What are you most fearful of or worried about?  On the flip side, what are you most excited about?  What are you most looking forward to doing?  How are you going to find bits of happiness and joy in the season?  I liked to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Together, we can work our way through the holidays.

 

       

   I take heart in knowing that other’s still care.  But truly, I feel that only a few truly understand.  Some around me try to understand and just go with the flow, not having experienced this themselves.  Some try to understand and try to say the right thing.  And there are some who do truly understand, have walked the path, yet say nothing. 

         There is someone close to me that has no idea truly, what I am going through, however her kind words echo through my mind and my heart.  When I don’t know where to turn, when I feel completely overwhelmed, when I don’t understand my emotions I turn to those words.  Sometimes saying them helps, sometimes it makes me stop and think, and sometimes it just resonates.  One of the things that she said was “I truly believe that everything happens for a reason”.  I agree with her, though it is tough to hear and to take in some times, God lets everything happen for a reason.  As much as I would love to know is why this, I also know I will never truly know why.

       She also said that I was one of the strongest people she knows, if anybody can get through this I can, and based on that she knows that I will ge through this and that one day I will truly be blessed in a big way.  Hmmm…I am strong.  Do I feel like that?  Sometimes I do.  Other times when the tears are flowing I think, really?  Am I really strong?  I may not always agree with that statement, but having someone else believe it, helps me believe in myself.  One day, I will be able to stand up tall and say with confidence “I am strong”

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