Wednesday, December 11, 2013

12 Days of Christmas: Day Eleven

Written by Paul De Leon

My name is Paul De Leon. I live in San Antonio, Texas with my wife and three living children. On March 5th, 2011, just one week before our scheduled delivery, our daughter’s heart simply stopped beating. No reason was given. No explanation discovered. She was just gone and there was nothing we could do about it. The only thing that remained in that small delivery room as we delivered a beautiful still-born baby girl was silence and time.

Time would demand so much from us. It didn’t slow down. It didn’t wait for us. It required action, decisions and much more – progress. Our first experience with the holidays would be mother’s and father’s day. Getting through those days was nearly as difficult as getting through the day of her funeral. The abrasive reminder of what was not going to be was never louder as we exchanged cards and gifts through tear-filled eyes.

The timing of our loss allowed 8 months to pass before we would face our first Christmas without the little girl who should have been sitting between my legs struggling to unwrap her first presents. I suppose the first harsh reminder of the holiday season not being the same ever again was when we hung up our children’s stockings. There was no way we could place them on the wall without including Bella. The fact that the stockings were hanging on the wall empty wasn’t the hard part. The fact that hers would remain empty was what killed me.

I found both pain and healing in the process of making it a point to still recognize our little girl during the holidays. As hard as it was to know she wouldn’t be there, there was a sense of peace that began to overwhelm by us taking the time to acknowledge her, even if my wife and I were the only ones who knew it.
The holidays can swallow you up if you are not prepared. I would not suggest that we have a complete handle on things by any means, but we have learned that incorporating Bella with our normal traditions can give us the strength we need to not only remember her but celebrate her. She will never wear the first Christmas dress but she will remain an active part of our lives for as long as we are breathing.

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Crystal Beason said...


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