I never realised just how saturated the world becomes with Christmas once December rolls around. It is literally everywhere; adverts and festive films on the television, Christmas songs on the radio, every shop dressed up the nines, twinkling lights on streets, in shop windows and homes. It is inescapable and it hurts. A lot.
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Christmas has always given me such a deep, unparallelled joy. All the things that now make my heart ache used to fill it with happiness. One of my favourite things to do was walk round town in the evening in December when it’s dark, Christmas lights twinkling, Christmas music merging together from every shop, hot chocolate in hand, watching people buying presents for loved ones. All the festiveness makes me so emotional. Now, the idea of doing that makes me want to crawl in a cupboard and never come out.
We should be bringing him home from the hospital this week, panicking about being solely in charge and responsible for our three month old. We should be making treats and writing cards for the neonatal nurses and Aneurin’s consultant, knowing nothing will ever thank them enough. We should be opening and closing Aneurin’s bedroom door thinking of last minute things he might need. We should be putting our Christmas tree up and watching Aneurin mesmerised by the dancing lights. I should be nursing our boy to sleep whilst watching The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. Mr D should be rolling his eyes at me as another Christmas present gets delivered. We should be preparing for our first Christmas as a beautiful, happy little family.
There should be another name on this list. Right at the top with more blank space than anyone else to fill with toys, books and sweet little Winter clothes.
Phrases like ‘silence can be deafening’ used to make me roll my eyes but now I get it. The absence of something can be overwhelming. Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing there is someone missing and that will never go away. We could have ten more children and reignite our Christmas joy but Aneurin will always be missing.
We decided we need to do something completely new and different this year, something we’ll probably never do again. Our first instinct was to just stay at home on our own but we didn’t want any of our family to be alone so that wasn’t an option. Instead, we’ve decided to all go out for Christmas dinner. Fortunately, as there’ll be eight of us we have our own private dining room so we won’t have to watch families with small children which would be incredibly painful.
I’m trying my hardest to keep doing the things I would normally do like send cards and decorate the house but I’m not sure yet if forcing myself to do those things will only make the pain deeper. Every year I make food gifts and put together little hampers which is one thing I do want to still do. Cooking and creating is healing so I think that’s something positive I can do. With that in mind I’m going to do something else I find healing which is blogging. I’m going to feature a few festive themed posts, some baby-loss related like ideas on how to honour your child over the holidays and some generic Christmas themed.
I think I have to be prepared though for all good intentions to go out the window and just go with the flow of my emotions. Our reactions to things are so unpredictable and I actually have no idea how we’ll feel as everything around us gets more and more festive and family orientated. Every day more photos of children standing by dressed trees appear on my social media and everything feels like a reminder of what we should have but we will get through it. We got through those first impossible weeks and we’re getting through now. We will get through this.
Mrs D x