Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The First Christmas

For many this will be the first Christmas.
The First Christmas without their mother.
Their Father.
Their Brother.
Their Sister.
Their Friend.
Their Child.

Perhaps the person they are missing has been gone for months- time for the outside world to go back to 'business as usual'- back to 'life as we know it'- back to 'normal'.

But for most of those people- the first Christmas will be anything but normal.

It may be the anxiety of wondering what they will feel on that first Christmas. The hole left from the person who was for so long- a part of the gatherings- or the person who was dreamt of- who would be there amidst wrappings and laughter- the first Christmas.

For me that first Christmas happened only months after he was gone. I hardly felt like celebrating but I went through the motions. I felt I had to. After all, I had much to be thankful for- there would be one more stocking added to our mantle... but I had wanted two.

Two.

I hardly knew how to feel- happy- sad- blessed- cursed- And though I tried to get a grip on my emotions, I look back now- eight Christmases later- and I wonder why. Why did I have to 'understand'- why did I have to try to 'feel' something- for hadn't I learned- even in those few months that had aged me more than all my year's previous, that feelings are not right or wrong- they simply are?

A man approached my husband recently. His wife had lost a baby. As my husband was telling me the story I winced when he said, "It was early- only ten weeks or so..." And instead of jumping on what he had said- sharing with him that it does not matter 'how long' I simply asked, "What did he say?"

"He said that they had lost the baby a while ago and that he had recalled us losing a baby(E). When I asked how he was doing, how she was doing, he said, 'She's getting better. I think she'll get over it soon.' to which I replied, 'Really? I don't think I'll ever be 'over it'."

And so I got to thinking... what makes us so different? What makes one grieve a lifetime and another's world start suddenly spinning again?

I don't know.

But I do know that though you may not see it. There is a chance- that that first Christmas- and perhaps even that eighth Christmas- they may be thinking- wondering- dreaming of what it should have been like- what it could have been like-

That First Christmas.

Thinking of you on your First Christmas- your 91st Christmas- and all those Christmases in between- missing them.

4 comments:

  1. I feel so much of what you have written here. It will never be easy to celebrate without my girls. xx

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  2. It's hard for me to understand those that bounce back so quickly and seem to just move on. Perhaps it is because I'm still longing and missing every day. Thinking of everyone who is missing this Christmas and hoping it is gentle on their hearts.

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  3. No...we will never be able to celebrate the same. It may get easier and we may be able to share in more joy each year, but there will always be a missing part of the picture. Always. And that, whether it's something material, an act of kindness or "just" a thought, will forever be because of our lives without our angels.
    xo

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  4. It's hard for me to understand those that bounce back so quickly and seem to just move on. Perhaps it is because I'm still longing and missing every day. Thinking of everyone who is missing this Christmas and hoping it is gentle on their hearts.

    ReplyDelete

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