Christmas has always been a favorite holiday for our family. Stringing up Christmas lights, putting ornaments on a tree, hanging stockings, it has always been such a happy time of the year for us.
The year that Nash died we put up our Christmas tree that very next week. It brought cheer and happiness back into our home again.
This Christmas feels different.
It is the first Christmas where my bright holiday cheer is clouded with feelings of sadness and loss. No matter how many smiles I have while hanging stockings, or setting out my Christmas décor—there is a hangover of grief that follows. It makes those cheerful feelings uneasy and jumbled. It makes me wonder and question what Christmas “should have been” for our family. It is the first year where we should have a brand new baby, with a brand new stocking, not just an ornament in remembrance. Something constantly feels like its missing.
This year our Christmas card looks much different than what we originally expected. We have a stuffed bear with recording of Max’s heartbeat instead of a newborn. Our family is well dressed and put together; we are exhausted but not newborn exhausted—grief exhausted. We are a family who looks complete on the outside but feels very incomplete.
How do I even begin to positively incorporate Max into a cheerful and joyous holiday when I am filled with such despair that he isn't here to celebrate?
To that I am sure we will find a way but it doesn’t make me okay with it. We have figured it out for the last 5 months and I know we will figure it out this month too but it is a hard time of the year to “wing it”. One year ago I would have never thought we would find ourselves here, trying to figure out how to make it through our first Christmas without our 3rd baby boy.