Parents who have lost a child have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. At least I do, and I have heard others say the same. I think it’s obvious to most people why these days would be harder than others. Happy people, celebrating their happy lives. Their children another year older. Thankful for their health and happiness. Toasting to another year of memories.
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. Although I am very thankful for so many things, at the same time I have a hard time being truly thankful.I remember how thankful I was when Nash was born. I had to pinch myself, I was so happy. I reflected on my life often and how everything had happened to lead me to this point. This moment of true bliss. Now my version of being thankful has an “at least” attached. At least I have Crue, at least we are healthy. This Thanksgiving, I wanted nothing to do with going to my in-laws for their big Thanksgiving party. It felt like cheating., almost like going and celebrating was not respectful to Nash and the fact that he couldn’t be there. I decided to stay home. Home is where I feel closest to him, and this way we could spend the day together. Once Todd and Crue left, all I did was cry. How could I not spend Crue’s first Thanksgiving with him!? Mother’s guilt is a killer! I feel guilty if I go and guilty if I don’t. I ended up going for maybe an hour tops and bringing Crue home with me. I feel horrible for saying this, but I was mad at everyone for being happy. I want people to stay tortured with me. I know for a fact they all thought about Nash that day, everyday for that matter, but I want everyone to wear black to the holidays and tell me how much they suck! I really don’t want that…but around the holidays my mind works that way.
Christmas is a time of gift giving, Santa Claus, being surrounded by family. Nash would almost be two this Christmas. I think of how much fun he would be this year, unwrapping presents, leaving cookies out for Santa. Snuggling up on the couch watching the Christmas cartoons I grew up watching. He won’t do that though, he will never do that. I wondered when I sent our Christmas cards out, do I put Nash’s name on the card? I decided to. These are decisions I never thought I would have to make. However small they are pain fully hard. When Christmas morning comes my family will be one short. No two-year-old bubbly boy will be coming downstairs to open presents.
Then there is New Year’s, a fresh start, a time to reflect and reminisce on the year before. Many great things happened this year, most importantly Crue, but I can’t help but feel sad, angry, and envious of other people this time of year. I don’t feel like I will ever have a fresh start. I will always carry the heavy load of grief into the next year with me. It’s my cross to bear.
To me, the new year means another year without my baby. Another year to get through. People will be drinking and cheering, and I will be just…drinking, although this year I may just do it with others instead of alone. Hey, that’s an improvement…baby steps . I think what makes the holidays the worst is that they are a time that revolves around family. Even family from out-of-state flies in for the holidays. It’s the one time a year where most families are complete. Kids come home from college, grandchildren from out-of-state visit. People wait all year for that moment their family is all together again. Me on the other hand…I’ll be waiting an eternity.