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.

 

February 4- 

     In theory this should be a wonderful day.  It’s my birthday.  However under the circumstances, it’s not really on my radar.  It is my opening shift at work, so I fall into my “normal” morning routine.  I get into the door at work and back to my classroom.  All is okay until I turn the lights on and look up.  Then the tears start flowing.  While I was gone, Natalie had all my kids help create a large birthday banner (which mind you, is now folded and crammed in one of the keepsake boxes).

      As I stand there in silence, taking it all in, and opening my room, thankfully Sherry walked in.  She gave me a big hug and a card, and helped me open the rooms.  We didn’t say much, but that was okay.  A little while later Katie came in, gave me a big hug and said “happy birthday”.  She asked how I was doing and I said alright.  I know today is going to a little on the tough side. 

    The day went on “normal like”, with moments of sheer overwhelmingness.  But, I made it through.  Upon getting home I had a stack of cards to open.  This will be a day I will never forget.  Not everyone can that, for every birthday card they open on their birthday, they opened a sympathy card as well.   And so went the emotions like a giant teeter totter, up (joy, yeah!  Happy birthday), and then down (slamming hard into the ground… “I’, sorry for your loss).  While reading my email, I found out that my mom had been through a miscarriage.  I was a little frustrated at first that she didn’t say anything when they were up the weekend after it happened.  But later came to the realization that my mom was not only feeling my pain, she was feeling hers own as feelings arose and most likely didn’t know what to say or do.

    It had been such an unusual birthday I didn’t feel much like celebrating, but Raun said we should do something.  So we went out to eat at one of favorite places, The Cheeky Monkey.  With Raun’s gift I decided I was going to buy a memorial necklace, but he said he had a better place to look for one.  So I decided to peruse it later. 

   That night Raun’s mom Barb had driven up for the weekend and she stopped by.  We chatted and opened gifts until it was time to pick my dad, Steve, up from the airport.  He and my mom were down in St. Louise at a Wine Trade Show.  My dad wanted to fly up to be here for the memorial service on Saturday.  My mom was wishing she was able to be there, but someone had to man the booth.  So she sent her thoughts and prayers.  That night, we all stayed up chatting and eating birthday cake.  Then it was to bed and to brace for what tomorrow would bring.

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