Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas: Day Twelve

Welcome to Day Twelve of the All That Love Can Do 12 Days of Christmas! You can read all about this online event HERE. If you'd like to catch up on all the posts from this event, you can find them HERE

Facing the holidays without your baby, or when you know your baby's life is going to be short, is overwhelmingly hard. Please, above all else, be gentle with yourself. 

If you'd like to connect with other loss families facing the holidays without their children, you can join the private group on Facebook, HERE

We hope you find peace and healing in the days to come <3.

~ ~ ~
Day Twelve, 
by Lisa Sissons

Christmas – just the thought of it brings up so many emotions, ranging from pure joy to absolute heartbreak. You’d think that with this being the third Christmas since Finley was born and died, it would get easier. The only parts of it that is easier now are that the feelings are familiar, expected and not entirely unwelcome.
In the first year after Finley died, I remember talking to people who were further along in this journey than I was at that time. They used to tell me that grief becomes easier over time, somehow easier to carry. They would say that the feelings that overwhelmed me and made it difficult for me to breathe would happen less and less. I had so much hope that what they were telling me was true, because it was all consuming and agonizing. But I also didn’t believe that there would ever be a day when I didn’t feel the pain to that extent, and I hated it when people implied that I would get over it.
The truth is, people were right. It’s not that the feelings are less though, I think that I’ve just become used to them being there. The ache and the hurt are so familiar now, I honestly don’t remember how it felt before. And in that same way, the feelings and bitterness surrounding the Christmas season are familiar. This year when I feel the sadness creeping in it doesn’t surprise me. It’s almost a comfort to know that I still feel this way; it is a result of the love I have for my son.
Like in previous years, I will find ways to include Finley in our family celebrations. He is as much a part of my life now as he would be if he were here. His story and my story are intertwined; I will always be his mother. Every year I will hang his stocking.

I will hang ornaments on the tree. 

And I will find some new way to devote some time and energy just for him. I let myself imagine a little of what life would be like if he were here this year, almost 3, a big boy.

My new Christmas craft this year has been making ornaments. I started with one that I made for Finley, and it has taken up quite a bit of my time.

I’ve been making them for friends, especially for friends whose babies have also died. I think it is such an important thing to be able to help other grieving families, even in a small way of remembering their babies when remembering my own.

This year my husband and I will be travelling back to the UK to spend Christmas with his family. That in itself has its challenges – my nephew was born less than a year after Finley, and I see so much of Finley in him. I see how my husband’s family interact with him, and my heart breaks knowing that Finley should be there too; that he should have been there first. My niece is also going to be born either shortly before we arrive for our visit, or while we are there. That induces such panic in me. Thinking about it makes my heart beat so fast, and my breath quicken. We will be celebrating an almost 2 year old boy and a newly born baby girl. I will see my nephew’s joy on Christmas and know that Finley will never be there to experience those things. I will see my tiny niece and cry at the sheer newness of her. The sweet baby cries and smell that I never had with my son.
Despite all of that, I will try to enjoy these children whom I love so much at Christmas. They will grow up knowing about their big cousin Finley, and for me that is the greatest gift I ever could receive. My sister in law sent me a photo the other day of the Christmas balloon that my nephew picked out to go on Finley’s cherry tree at his nana’s house. It was a gingerbread man balloon. 

And I cried. I cry knowing that Finley is so missed and loved by all of his family. Missed enough that he is remembered and honoured in tangible ways, missed enough that a new generation of people will learn about him and miss him too.
My dear son Finley lives on in those who love him. And somehow that makes Christmas a little easier to bear.
~ ~ ~

Lisa Sissons is just a normal girl trying to help her son's memory live on by writing honestly and openly about life, love and loss. She blogs at the Stars Apart about all things life and babyloss, and has also written articles for Still Standing Magazine  and Circle of Moms. Lisa lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband Steve and their cheeky dog Jacob and tries to find the time for photography, crafts and blog design when her work schedule allows.


Shauna said...

I love your ornaments--they are so beautiful <3 I love how you put that it isn't the grief goes away it is more that it is a familiar feeling that you get use to having around--that is how I've been feeling but didn't know how to describe it and you described it perfectly. ((Hugs)) as you face all your Christmas plans this year <3

Anonymous said...

Rest in Heaven sweet Finley! ♥

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